Originally posted here, I re-publish the article on my blog, in a sign of gratitude for being in Kuala Lumpur and meeting my extended family: the Biji-biji team and volunteers! I am here for two months now, volunteering, helping out in setting up a batik studio. Step by step, we are preparing some new batik workshops that anyone interested can attend. New seat belt bags design with new original batik are also on the way! Stay in touch and if you are in Kuala Lumpur, do pay a visit!
First of all, we are glad to announce that Biji-biji has gathered the materials necessary to kick start a mini batik studio at their headquarters, in the center of Kuala Lumpur!
Batik is a centuries old textile art based on the technique of decorating and (repeatedly) dyeing a fabric by using removable wax to save the parts of the fabric that are not intended to be dyed.
Why are you so lucky to be here in Kuala Lumpur and learn this ancient technique?
Different forms of batik have been identified in China, Japan, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Central Asia, Africa, Egypt and Europe but the Malaysians and the Indonesians (especially the Javanese) have worked passionately and constantly on perfecting this art. The abundance of materials such as wax, vegetable paste, paraffin and dyes and the tropical weather conditions in SE Asia make it a perfect place to nurture a constant development of this art!
Well, you might have recently passed through a bookstore and you might have noticed a whole wall dedicated to coloring books for adults?! This is the global hype at the moment! From Europe to Asia and the US, coloring books for adults are selling like crazy, validated by new scientific research that agrees that coloring is a type of meditation and a way of exercising mindfulness, while blocking negative thoughts. So, coloring is therapeutic! Finally, science goes ahead to confirm this now, but I bet that the batik artists and any other type of artists since forever knew this already from their own experience! Doing art is a way to relieve stress and to express emotions. There is even an acknowledged type of therapy, art therapy that is gaining more and more attention worldwide.
So, while living in SE Asia you are blessed to have the materials in handy for doing batik, which helps you relieve daily tensions and stress. Nonetheless, big or small, the batik pieces that you will finish will fill you up with a feeling of accomplishment and beauty! These pieces could become ways of making your house more beautiful by displaying them on your walls and collecting compliments from family or guests. Or you could use them as unique gifts for your family and friends! Or you could include them into your own unique bags or even clothing!