Talks and Performance
Organized by Karin Altmann / University of Applied Arts Vienna, AT
09. 11., 23.11. and 14.12.2021

THE CREATIVE PROCESS OF JAVANESE BATIK<br>Talks and Performance<br>Organized by the University of Applied Arts Vienna, AT<br>09. 11., 23.11. and 14.12.2021

Photo Credits: Novita Yunus / Batik Chic

Karin Altmann, member of the ETN Advisory Council, invites us to follow an interesting collaboration project in which the Javanese Batik is the focus:

Batik, the resist-dyeing technique of patterning cloth through the application of wax, is a centuries-old textile art form known in several parts of the world, but it reached its highest level of complexity on the island of Java. While deeply embedded in local traditions and linked to the worldview, philosophy, and social order of Java, over the past two centuries batik has become a powerful cultural medium. In 2009, UNESCO declared Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

In cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, the Weltmuseum Wien, Indonesian academics, artists, fashion designers and social entrepreneurs, we will reflect on the creative processes and various aspects of Javanese batik, which also inspire artists beyond the batik tradition and open up new perspectives.

Opening remarks: Akio Alfiano Tamala, Chargés D'Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Vienna and Karin Altmann, Institute of Art Sciences and Art Education, University of Applied Arts Vienna.

Speakers: Jani Kuhnt-Saptodewo “Batik in Javanese Tradition” (in German) and Nia Fliam “The Sensibility of Batik” (in English).

Jani Kuhnt-Saptodewo, born in Jakarta/Indonesia, studied ethnology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich and completed her habilitation “Getanzte Geschichte. Tanz, Religion und Geschichte auf Java” at the Humboldt-University in Berlin. She has written numerous books based on her research findings and continuous interest on themes of interculturality and performing arts. Between 2005 and 2018, Kuhnt-Saptodewo has been Curator and Head of the Insular Southeast Asian Collection at the Weltmuseum Wien. In addition to her work as a researcher and author, she worked on films and curatorial projects, resulting in successful exhibitions such as „Balinese Art in Transition“ (2010) and „World in Motion“ (2017). In her talk, Kuhnt-Saptodewo will offer an overview of the tradition of Javanese batik.

Nia Fliam is an US-American artist whose love affair with batik brought her to Indonesia 38 years ago. Together with her husband, batik artist Agus Ismoyo, she established the batik studio Brahma Tirta Sari (“creativity is the source of all knowledge”) in Yogyakarta in 1985. Since then, they have explored the traditional collaborative creative process of Javanese batik and have extended this collaborative exploration to work with artists from various indigenous communities around the world. Their artwork is made in the context of Javanese traditional batik but it is realized in a form of expression of growth in rootedness. In her talk, Nia Fliam will share her experiences of study, artistic research, and application of the ancient creative process taught through the intangible aspect of Indonesian batik. She will also share her hopes for the future development of educational formats for this important knowledge system so it might be accessible to artists and students from varied cultural backgrounds.

Performance: Pencak Silat Anak Harimau

Organisation: Karin Altmann, Institute of Art Sciences and Art Education, Textile Department, University of Applied Arts Vienna in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Vienna.

For both university members and external persons, the current Covid-19 regulations of the University of Applied Arts Vienna apply: Admission only on the basis of the 2.5G ruling (vaccinated, recovered, PCR-tested) with mandatory registration on site. FFP2 mask must be worn in the building.


23. November 2021, 10:00 – 12:00 CET
“Keeping the Tradition” with Threads of Life Co-Founder William Ingram and Batik Artist Agus Ismoyo.

14. December 2021, 10:00 – 12:00 CET
“Fashionable Batik” with Fashion Designers Novita Yunus and Nita Kenzo.

To join the zoom talks, please visit:

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