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Reinventing Javanese Batik at John Hardy Seminyak

Through August, Indonesian artist Alexander Sebastianus Hartanto is presenting an imaginative fusion of photography and traditional textiles in a captivating showcase.

Visitors to John Hardy Boutique & Gallery in Seminyak, Bali can look forward to a roster of ever-changing exhibitions that complement the brand’s one-of-a-kind jewelry collections and locally inspired dining venues. This summer, the gallery is showcasing the unique works of artist-in-residence Alexander Sebastianus Hartanto. An Indonesian-born artist, weaver, and anthropologist based in Bali, Hartanto explores the decontextualization of material cultures and their perception, understanding, and ritualization in practice.

His current solo exhibition, “Mbaka Satitik: Ritualization of From,” creatively blends photography and Javanese batik. Pixelated image-particles, symbolizing Hartanto’s memories and possessions, are imprinted on cloth and then processed using the traditional Javanese wax-resist dye technique. Through restoring the sacred character of batik, Hartanto hopes to reclaim the lost tradition of ritualizing craft and mythicizing the art of making.

Mbaka Satitik, a term coined by Hartanto, translates to the practice of going “from one point to another,” with each titik (dot) representing a specific moment in time within the context of personal and cultural transformation. This ritualization of the batik process is his sacred act of memorializing where he has been, which Hartanto calls his “froms.” According to the artist, there are four rites of passage by which the transformation of the cloth symbolizes the body in metamorphosis: nyuci (purification), nyanting (mediation/contemplation), nyelup (absorption), and nglorod (sublimation).

“Mbaka Satitik: Ritualization of From” will be shown at John Hardy Boutique and Gallery, Seminyak until August 31, 2024. Entry is free for the public at the gallery every day from 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

For more information, visit johnhardy.com.

Barong (left) and Kain (right), two of the pieces shown at the “Mbaka Satitik: Ritualization of From” exhibition.
Barong (left) and Kain (right), two of the pieces shown at the “Mbaka Satitik: Ritualization of From” exhibition.
Artworks like Titik Dari combine photography with traditional Javanese batik-making techniques.
Artworks like Titik Dari combine photography with traditional Javanese batik-making techniques.
Alexander Sebastianus Hartanto’s creations are displayed over two floors at John Hardy Seminyak.
Alexander Sebastianus Hartanto’s creations are displayed over two floors at John Hardy Seminyak.
“Mbaka Satitik: Ritualization of From” will run until August 31, 2024.
“Mbaka Satitik: Ritualization of From” will run until August 31, 2024.

This article was brought to you by John Hardy Bali.