Friday, January 14, 2011

An Indonesian Batik Museum - Solo City

From a distance, I could see a luxurious building from inside the bus.  I had wondered what was inside, as we slowly started to approach the museum.  When I stepped inside, I was blown away.   The museum looked like a royal palace inside with its lavish batik designs and stunning decorations.

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.


  1. Wow, that's too bad that those people work in those poor conditions. And it seems odd that the museum would show that off to visitors, too, if they thought that it might be perceived that way. The batiks are beautiful, though.

  2. Hi Eleni! Yes, I was surprised they would show us the "behind the scenes" too LOL

  3. Hi, Mary ....saya sedang liburan di Solo. Boleh minta alamat museum dan tempat pembuatan batik yg dpt saya kunjungi ?

  4. Hello! Maaf, saya tidak tahu alamat musuem itu =(


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