With its bolder, freer designs--including striking abstracts and energetic floral forms--and its brighter palette, Malaysian batik has brought an exciting new dimension to the ancient art of decorating fabric using molten wax, metal stamp and stylus.
Batik making in Malaysia today has become less of a craft and more of an art form. Lengths of batik are no longer simply fashioned into sarongs. More often now they are used for lifestyle products, as art pieces and, above all, for contemporary high fashion. The pieces that are created display an originality of composition and design, an effective use of color, a high level of technical expertise and a flair for working in the medium that are the hallmarks of great works of art.
Many of the recent advances in Malaysian batik are due to the initiatives of the Yayasan Budi Penyayang, who have revitalized the Malaysian batik industry by adapting it to suit fashion needs, and have used high fashion as a tool to promote and display its beauty.
"Malaysian Batik: Reinventing a Tradition, " traces the origins of batik, the materials, methods and motifs of the block-stamped and hand drawn methods, and the ways in which Malaysian batik has been transformed into a craft with international appeal.