TEMPO.CO, Moscow - The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia (KBRI) in Moscow, Russia, just held an exhibition called "The Enchantment of Indonesian Batik" from September 3 to October 3. The event, which was held at the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum in Moscow, recorded a total attendance of 3,925 visitors throughout the implementation period.
"This batik exhibition and workshop which has been held for a month in Moscow, from September 3 to October 3, would be a good step to continue to introduce the tradition and beauty of Indonesian batik as a world cultural heritage to the Russian people," said the Indonesian Ambassador to the Federation Russia and the Republic of Belarus, Jose Tavares, when delivering his reception remarks on Sunday (3/10), in a written statement received by Republika, Wednesday (7/10).
The guests gave positive feedback. “Currently I am learning to make batik so this exhibition is not to be missed. I hope that I can broaden my horizons about the motifs, colors and types of Indonesian batik,” said Valeria Savina, a Russian student from Saint Petersburg, which is 750 km from Moscow or seven hours by land.
“I came to this batik exhibition twice. Everything about Indonesian batik is impressive, from the manufacturing process to the philosophy contained in each Indonesian batik motif,” said Mashikwane Rebecca Mohuba, wife of a senior diplomat at the South African Embassy in Moscow. She attended the reception as a representative of the International Women's Club (IWC) Moscow. IWC Moscow is the largest expatriate women's association in Moscow and currently has members from 110 countries.
"It's a rare opportunity to be able to attend this batik promotion event for the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow. I didn't know much about Indonesian culture before," said Ekaterina Shchukina Viktorovna, a student majoring in International Law at MGIMO University, one of Russia's most prestigious universities. "Now I am fascinated by the richness of Indonesian culture, especially related to batik, starting from the batik cloth on display, the appearance of the Russian dancers during the Indonesian batik fashion dance to the accompaniment of a very cool music.”
The highlight of the reception was a cultural performance of dance fashion with the theme of Indonesian batik, the result of the collaboration of a dance studio assisted by the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow, "Kirana Nusantara Dance" (KND), with musician Anon Suneko from Omah Gamelan Yogyakarta who is also a lecturer at ISI Yogyakarta.
The fashion dance show is an event that combines a medley of fashion shows with various batik fabrics with Batik Dance performances that illustrate the beauty of the story of the batik process in Javanese cultural traditions. The flexibility of the movements and dances were displayed enchantingly by the dancers who were all Russian citizens.
The reception was closed with a final tour by the invited guests who were present with Ambassador Tavares and Mrs. Fitria Wibowo Tavares, to see the beauty of the various collections of Indonesian batik cloth displayed. Also accompanying the final tour were Nina Nostrum, as the creative curator of the museum, and Anastasia Marakhina, as the tutor for the batik workshop.
Appreciation also came from the journalists who attended. "I've known about Indonesian batik, but this is the first time I've seen the diversity of colors, motifs and the process of making Indonesian batik. They are all unique and very impressive", said Muhammad Khaled, a journalist for Russia Today (Arabic).
The reception was attended by invited guests from various circles, such as the Ambassador (Colombia and Montenegro), the President of IWC Moscow who is the wife of the Jordanian Ambassador to Russia, members of IWC Moscow, Dharma Wanita Persatuan of the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow, museums, art galleries, media, academics, artists. , entrepreneurs, art-loving communities, Indonesianists and the Indonesian diaspora.
Previously, every Saturday during September, the "Let's Batik" workshop was held by the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow at the same museum. The batik workshop consists of two classes, namely 'classical batik' on cloth and 'contemporary batik' by painting batik motifs on wood. A total of 52 Russian citizens and other international participants attended the workshop which was facilitated by two Russian tutors who were alumni of the Darmasiswa scholarship recipients of the Republic of Indonesia and had studied batik at one of the universities in Indonesia.
“Indonesian batik is an inseparable part of who I am today. I learned and loved Indonesian batik even more. Today, I am known in Moscow as a teacher of Indonesian batik,” said Anastasia Marakhina, an artist who is tutor for a classic batik workshop class on cloth.
Another tutor is a Russian painter, Vladimir Kirichenko, who gives a contemporary batik workshop by painting batik motifs on wood. “I am very happy to be able to introduce Indonesian batik which is rich in motifs and stories. Personally, I really like the Kawung motif because it has beauty in layers of color and symmetry of shape,” said Vladimir.
The enthusiasm and satisfaction of the workshop participants was reflected in the impressions they conveyed. “The whole process of making batik using canting (a pen-like tool used to apply liquid hot wax) and waxes is really fun even though it requires patience. I now understand why a piece of written batik has a high price in the market,” said Galina Edi, an art-loving Russian citizen who participated in the batik workshop.
Marina Norkus, a Russian citizen who works as a kindergarten teacher, said the same thing. “I like to paint. For me, learning to make batik is interesting and very different from conventional painting. Painting using canting and hot wax requires a lot of patience and precision. I imagine how long it takes to paint a piece of batik cloth,” said Marina.
“I know Indonesian batik only from information on the internet. I attended the workshop, because I was curious about how to make batik. It turns out that the process of batik is not easy, but challenging. Every stroke and line in batik has its own meaning and I learned many new things,” said Irina Makrushina, a housewife, who was present with her son, Roman Lagashin (11 years old).
“Participating in this batik workshop was one of my best days. I got a lot of new information about Indonesia and beautiful Indonesian batik in this workshop. I hope to have beautiful batik clothes someday,” said Roman, adding to the impression conveyed by his mother.