Uncovering Batik Nusantara at Batik Museum, Pekalongan
This old art deco building on Jalan Jetayu 1, Pekalongan, stores 1,149 batik collections from all over the archipelago. The goal is to provide knowledge and experience of being in close contact with batik; ensuring that batik–as a masterpiece that becomes the identity of the Indonesian nation–remains sustainable.
The building selected to be Museum Batik Pekalongan is just as old as the history of batik that has been ingrained in this city. Around this building area of 2,500 sqm, traditional batik (1900-1980s) and modern ones (the 1990s – today) are exhibited. The collection of batik is not only derived from Java–where batik is most well-known, but also from various regions such as Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Papua.
The museum was inaugurated by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2006. With 3 exhibition rooms, a library, a meeting room, an audio-visual room and a workshop room, this museum is expected to be a data & information center about batik.
The first room is filled with typical batik of the coastal areas of Java, such as Cirebon, Pekalongan, Batang, Rembang, and Lasem. Batik patterns such as mega mendung (clouds), hong birds (Phoenix), and buketan (bouquet) style can be found here. Canting, a tool used for smearing wax (malam) or color on a cloth, is also exhibited–complete with its nine different sizes, from small to large. Side by side to canting, some types of natural batik dye are also shown.
Batik Nusantara occupies the second showroom. Batik Bengkulu with Besurek motif or Dhlorong Kembang motif from Riau is about to stun us by their beauty. There is also some batik from Lampung, Madura, East Kalimantan, to Papua. It is interesting to open our eyes to the richness of Indonesian culture; even if to be seen from the distribution of batik alone.
Pekalongan batik collection is exhibited in the third room. From this collection, we can trace the history and development of traditional batik motifs that are usually centered on plants; and modern batik that is freer, and does not have any rigid pattern. Various types of fabrics that was once a pride-commodity of Pekalongan’s Arab Village can also be found here.
For those who are interested in getting to know batik a bit further, a movie about batik can also be seen in the audio-visual room. In addition, there are also some valuable books that can only be read in the museum library. Can’t wait to experiment right away? Workshop space is available if you’d like to try making your own batik.
We can try to make our own batik either with stamping or canting (hand-drawn). No extra fee is needed if you’d like to experiment here. All you need is intention and desire. Batik is all about perseverance and patience. Each motif and color that is inscribed demands full concentration in the process.
Every day, from 08:00 to 15:00, this museum is open to get visitors fall in love with batik, its philosophy, and its long history. The entrance fee is only Rp5,000 (US$3) and the museum is closed on Sundays and other national holidays.
Let’s get acquainted with different types of this archipelago’s batik in Pekalongan’s Batik Museum! And don’t forget to bring your own piece of batik as souvenirs!
Batik Museum at Pekalongan
Address: Jl. Jatayu No.3, Panjang Wetan, Pekalongan Utara, Kota Pekalongan, Jawa Tengah 51141