Sash (selendang), Lasem, North Java, 1900–1910, 62 x 200 cm. The decoration of the cloth indicates the strong influence of the composition of Indian chintz textiles, especially the tree of life design with opened, variegated blossoms.
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Handcrafted batik from Indonesia has recently been included on UNESCO´s world cultural heritage list. This recognition may finally go some way in ending the widely held and derisory view of the ancient technique of batik as a mere hobby. This complex art form has long had some devoted admirers in Germany and elsewhere.
One of them is Rudolf Smend, founder of Galerie Smend in Cologne, who is also known for his enthusiasm for contemporary European batik art. His acclaimed collection of 19th- and early 20th-century Javanese batik was inspired by his travels to Indonesia and has been shown internationally. TAC is pleased to welcome Mr. Smend in conjunction with the annual Tribal Arts & Textiles Show on view at San Francisco’s Fort Mason this weekend.