Pointing the way to greater demand

Some of the batik designs by artisans employed by Indah Atelier. (Right) A depiction of the Kuala Lumpur skyline in art using the pointilism technique by Indah Atelier. — Photos by SHAARI CHE MAT/The Star

TO FURTHER promote the art of batik as a heritage product on a global platform, Indah Atelier, which is under the Moel Group of Companies, will soon launch a “Malaysia in 100m of Batik Pointilism” campaign.

This is also in line with the company’s #myartisan global campaign to promote the work of local batik artisans in Malaysia.

With the campaign, founder Mathumathi Manickvasagar Pilay said it was their hope to be listed in the Malaysia Book of Records.

“At the same time, we want to drive demand for Malaysian batik, ” she told StarMetro.

The art of pointilism is a technique of painting small, distinct dots in colour applied in patterns to form an image, developed by George Seurat and Paul Signac in 1886.

Indah Atelier, with its batik making centre based in Rawang, will create this dot technique on satin, which will stretch 100m long.

“I discovered there is lack of creativity and innovation in the batik industry.

“We have to fulfil the appetite of customers and market demand, and we are doing weekly research and development to elevate batik to a different level, ” she said.

She said producing art in the form of pointilism would nurture younger artisans.

“There is lack of focus among youths. They need this attention to detail so they will not be easily distracted, ” she added.

Mathumathi founded Indah Atelier in 2017 after obtaining a degree focusing on logistics and supply chain.

She ventured into the garment industry and saw a huge potential in Malaysian batik.

Mathumathi collaborated with Masterwan (whose real name is Wan Mahtar Wan Salleh) who has over 30 years of experience in the batik industry.

“He advises us on the technical part for the project, ” she said.

The #myartisan campaign will be launched on Dec 19, together with “Malaysia in 10m of Batik Pointilism” to expose batik to a global platform and instil a sense of nationalism and pride among Malaysians as well as network with international designers globally.

“The event will be a prelude to the 100 metres.

“We are talking to Balai Seni Negara and Petronas Galleria to display batik pointilism, ” she said.

India-Malaysia Heritage Group founder Prabhakaran Nair said the batik design would largely depict historical images showing ordinary Malaysians yearning for reform and revival of values in Malaysia.

“We want to capture that hope through history in the form of art.

“It will start from the period of the Melaka Sultanate towards the Portuguese and Dutch periods, the British era and followed by the Japanese Occupation, ” he said. Its project director Khaled Ahmed Adel El-Sherief said the batik art, in black and white, was to show how Malaysia’s history had evolved until today.

“It will show the past, present and future, ” he said.

Khaled added that they were coming up with modern designs and different angles, and looking at recruiting batik artisans.

He said batik artists from Kelantan and Terengganu were handpicked and placed under Indah Atelier’s tutelage for three months.

“Some of them are already doing batik, and these are job opportunities for them.

“We focus on the B40 group where we bring them to Kuala Lumpur and provide accommodation.

“They will gain more experience, so they can continue their art and open their own academies one day, ” he added.

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