Batik in our thumb

Indonesian traditional batik is very popular as a kind of fashion among Indonesians. The national symbol of fashion has awarded as the intangible cultural heritage of humanity from Indonesia by the UNESCO (2009). Despite his usage as ornamentation for fashion, Indonesian batik has a root story as being the way ancient Indonesians expressed meanings, story, moral suggestions and philosophy through paintings. It has been rooted since the javanese Majapahit Kingdom in the soverignity of the King Raden Wijaya (1294-1309). However, the processes of cultural assimilations throughout time has emerged the many traditional motifs of batik outside the Java Island, from the west in Sumatera to the east in Papua.

Research delivered by the Bandung Fe Institute discovered the interesting link between the "irregularity" employed by traditional people in Indonesia drawing Batik (mbatik) and the concept of “roughness” in the fractal geometry of modern mathematics. The multi-perspectives emanated from the symbols within batik paintings are emerged from the pseudo-algorithmic steps. The physics of Batik application adapt the traditional process to let you experience the generations of your own batik.

There are three panels of batik featured in the application. The first panel is on which you generate the basic motif of batik. We call this panel as the "Nithik Panel". In this panel, you input three points of triangles that is used to draw the points on which the dynamics of objects you want to capture. Batik drawing frequently draws the objects from natures, like clouds, the flapping wings of birds, stars, branching plants and trees, leaves, and so on due to the philosophical meaning they want to express.

Modern geometry has demonstrated that those objects contain the roughness from which the patterns of nature as we see, are emerged. The geometry of the rough shapes are fractal. The iterated function system is employed within this "nithik" panel. First you draw the primary triangle resembling the static space on which the "natural dynamics" is going to be drawn. This is followed by placing other triangles of the dynamical movement we want to capture. You will be guided by the notification alerting you for each steps on pointing out the triangles.

To see the generated basic pattern, you tap the button labelled "Generated Result" in the bottom. You can make as many as you want patterns and save them in your camera roll album. To be used in the second panel. We call the second panel the "Klowong" panel.

In the klowong panel, you can load the basic motifs you have created in the previous panel. This panel is actually an ordinary collage panel of images in which you can transform the image to fit your aesthetic of batik. You can resize, rotate, and move the images of batik patterns you loaded from the saved basic motifs.One interesting thing that you may want to note is that the collaging images should not be overlapped one another. This is the nature of two dimensionality of the traditional batik designs. This actually may be related to the philosophy of eery batik motifs with the message of "filling the emptiness". The philosophical aim of batik is to fill the large empty spaces with symbols, drawings, and paintings. A very nice working ethos from the Indonesian elders: filling the emptiness with works and crafts.

In the end, the resulting collages of images are still having some empty spaces between one basic motif and another. To finish your batik, you are invited to tap the "Isen" button that will give you some alternatives of harmonization fillings of your designs. It is very interesting that the philosophy from the "klowong" panel, namely "to fill the emptiness with work" is follwed by the "the fillings should be in harmony" as well.

Satisfied with your batik, you can save your design to the camera roll for further use.

Indonesian batik is colorful, yet this application leave you with black and white designs. A thing that invites you, if you want it, print it out on the paper, and try the traditional batik process yourself, because the beauty of Indonesian batik is not only the yielded designs, but also the process of the making. Batik is traditionally drawn and colored by the process of wax-resist dyeing. Joining the process of the making may give you more things to be experience other than the amazement of the beauty of the designs.

Have fun experincing your batik!
For more information contact

Bandung Fe Institute