Mexican-Indonesian batik fusion exhibited in Jakarta’s Kota Tua

Mexican-Indonesian batik fusion exhibited in Jakarta’s Kota Tua


akarta — A collection of batik showing a fusion of Mexican and Indonesian influences is currently on display at the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics at Kota Tua, West Jakarta, until June 3. Handmade by Indonesian and Mexican students, the Batik a la Mexicana exhibition commemorates 65 years of bilateral relations between the two countries. Mexican Ambassador to Indonesia Armando G. Alfarez said the batik exhibition is only the first series of events this year to be hosted by the embassy. The choice of batik, he added, is to celebrate Indonesia’s world-renowned technique, which has been included in UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage, and to combine it with Mexican designs for an exchange of culture. In explaining some of the artworks, the ambassador referred to several designs as indigenous Mexican motifs, such as birds and flowers, while others are colonial-inspired or come from contemporary Mexican culture, such as the La Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Upon entering the hall, visitors are greeted by a sheet of batik painted pink and featuring three skulls, inspired by pierced paper designs used during the Day of the Dead, a celebration in Mexico that honors deceased loved ones. The piece was created by Erendira Hernandez, a Mexican student currently studying in Yogyakarta on government-funded scholarship Darmasiswa, which welcomes foreign students with diplomatic ties to Indonesia to study the Indonesian language, art and culture. Several dozen Mexican students have come to Indonesia through the scholarship, Alvarez said. “It is still a small number because Mexico and Indonesia are still discovering each other,” he said, adding that the Latin American country continues to open routes for tourism and cultural exchanges with Indonesia. Twenty-six fusion batik pieces are on display, a concept that was developed and supported by Mexican Honorary Consul in Yogyakarta Warwick Purser. Three Indonesian artists and two Mexican students, both Darmasiswa scholars, participated in the exhibition. Zelda W. Kartika, the Foreign Ministry’s director of America I, overseeing North and Central America, said the exhibition is the reflection of close relation of the close friendship between the two countries.