The “Red and White Exhibition” is a form of appreciation of Indonesian handcrafters. It is also an attempt to preserve the nation’s diversity as well as to cultivate love and appreciation among Indonesians of the country’s own traditional arts and crafts.
Over a hundred handcrafters, including quilt artists, knitters, crocheters, embroiderers, doll-makers, tie-dyers, batik makers, and weavers participated in the exhibition. As a result, 210 amazing works are being displayed in the exhibition for two weeks, from August 12th to 26th. In addition, there are talk shows, workshops, and bazaar for the public to attend free of charge.
“As the originator of this exhibition, I initially just wanted to do something for August, specifically Indonesia’s Independence Day. I came up with the Red and White theme, the color of our nation’s flag,” said Lita Jonathans, an arts and crafts artist and activist, during the event’s launching on August 12. Lita said that the creation process started in March this year.
“Indonesian artists have been working non-stop since four months ago to produce their Red and White themed crafts,” she said.
Quilt crafting seems to dominate the exhibition with a total of 58 pieces being showcased. Also on display were batik fabrics, garments, dolls, embroidery, accessories, and more. One of the most fascinating pieces is a large stunning “friendship quilt” made by 72 women quilt artists.
“We rely on getuk tular (mouth to mouth) strategy when campaigning for this event. The artists told their friends and communities to participate together in the exhibition. They are not only coming from around Jakarta, but also from East Java, Central Java and Sumatra,” said Lita.
“With this exhibition, we really want to stimulate more people so they will develop some interest in Indonesian arts and crafts,” she added.
Among the various arts and crafts artists was a group of bobbin lace artists exhibiting their crafting process. Cecine, one of the artists, told me that she had had huge interest in lace crafting since she was young.
“I only picked up bobbin lace a few months ago, back in May. I had been looking for somebody who can teach me how to do it, so I browsed the internet and I found my community,” said Cecine.
Before learning bobbin lace, she also had picked up other lace-making art called tatting.
“It might look complicated the first time you look at a lace piece. But once you try, you will find it is easier than you thought. Everybody can do this kind of art as long as they have the willingness to learn,” said Cecine.
I asked one of the visitors to the exhibition who was examining a lace piece being showcased in one of the rooms what fascinated her about the piece.
“The details in these lace pieces are outstanding! I am in awe realizing that there are actually a lot people who have such a huge passion for this kind of arts,” said Anita.
She also said that the event is a good move to appreciate local handcrafters.
“We all know how handcrafting arts have been under appreciated here. I feel like this exhibition is finally giving the artists the credits they deserve for the passion they have and the effort they had put into their crafts. We really should appreciate handcrafters more than we do now,” she said.
Come to Jakarta Textile Museum to see the handcrafting exhibition at Jalan Aipda Ks Tubun No.2-4, Tanah Abang. Follow their instagram account for latest updates.
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