Throughout the museum, there are numerous types of batik, some which have also been influenced by Europe and China. There are different types of batik, some used for specific purposes, while others are timeless traditional pieces that reveal a unique form of art particular to Indonesia.
I had no idea that one could tell the difference between batik from Solo City versus Yogyakarta, depending on if the pattern flows from the left or the right. These simple differences in pattern can reveal a history or a regional influence.
As I walked throughout the gallery, I was in awe of all of the batik and the beauty of the museum. Suddenly, however, we were taken into the back to see the process of how batik is created. My mouth nearly dropped.
I thought it was hot in the museum with air conditioning, but the smoldering heat within the processing rooms nearly made me faint. I started to see groups of people, huddled on the floor, quietly working without looking up. It was awkward and I could slowly see the rage building in my teachers eyes, as she questioned our guide about the condition of their employees.
I was speechless.
I understand that there are people who work in tough conditions, but could these people at least get some clean, cool air? I could barely stand 15 minutes in there without burning eyes and dizziness.
It was interesting to see the batik in the museum, but I think I learned more by viewing the workers. I truly hope they will not suffer from health conditions.