Celebrating age-old art of batik

(From right) Muhammad Bakhtiar, Nori and Hatton-Jones trying their hand at batik at the launch of Batik Explosion which runs until Jan 13. — AZMAN GHANI/The Star

Explosion of creativity aims to preserve culture, reach a wider audience

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia (Penyayang) are organising a batik programme to run until Jan 13.

MyCreative Ventures Bhd chairman Datuk Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, who launched Batik Explosion, said the programme represented a significant step forward in harnessing the untapped potential of the age-old craft.

“It is not just about promoting a traditional art form but also recognising economic opportunities that lie within the folds of batik fabric.

“By empowering the batik industry, we are preserving our cultural heritage as well as fostering economic growth and sustainable development.”

Muhammad Bakhtiar said Malaysian batik industry had good potential in local and international markets.

“Malaysian batik may be expensive, mainly due to labour involved and high cost of raw materials but there are affordable options depending on the material and technique used for the batik creation.

“Malaysians should be proud to wear their batik because it is our heritage.

“When we buy and support authentic batik, we are supporting the people behind this amazing art that keeps our heritage going from generation to generation,” he said.

MyCreative Ventures is a government investment arm launched in Sept 2012 to spur Malaysia’s creative industry via strategic and innovative funding.

Penyayang chairman Nori Abdullah said the foundation aimed to promote the national batik agenda by using the iconic venue as the converging point for local and international visitors to showcase Malaysia’s heritage to a wider audience.

“We trust that international visitors, at the programme, will learn more about the art, beauty and uniqueness of batik, which will surely benefit the local batik craft industry and production chain,” she said.

KLCC deputy general manager Robert Hatton-Jones said it was an honour to be part of the collaborative initiative that brought together multiple parties from various sectors, all working towards the same goal which was to celebrate batik and to give back to society.

“The collaboration signifies their commitment to preserving Malaysia’s cultural heritage, supporting charitable causes and uniting our diverse communities,” he said.

To celebrate National Batik Day, participants were invited to try their hand at batik painting to create 12 four-metre pieces of batik drapes. This will be displayed later.

Batik Explosion activities will include a “Tree of Joy” gift drop, where the public is invited to place gifts around a Christmas tree made of batik cushions for underprivileged children.

An exhibition titled “Explorations Through Batik”, ongoing until Dec 20, is for batik artists to showcase their work.

In January, the centre will host 135 underprivileged children and pass them gifts from the “Tree of Joy”.

For details, visit www.klccconventioncentre.com

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