Gosh, was I excited when a parcel I expected from Tuttle arrived. It was a pleasant surprise when I saw it was such a big and beautiful book. *Gasp*
Malaysian Batik: Reinventing a Tradition traces the origins of batik history, 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.
Published by Tuttle Publishing, this wonderful book on Batik is written bv Noor Azlina Yunus in collaboration with Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia, a charitable foundation set up by the late Endon Mahmood who was the wife of Malaysia's fifth Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Noor Azlina Yunus has lived and worked in Malaysia for over forty years, where she has been involved in teaching, publishing and writing. She has a deep interest in the decorative arts of the Malay World and is the author of Songket Revolution.
All that you need to know about Malaysian Batik is packed in this wonderful book, Malaysian Batik: Reinventing a Tradition. This gem comes with 176 pages measuring 11.7 x 8.8 inches.
Chapter 1 starts you off on the story of batik where it touches on beginnings of batik in Malaysia, the trade paths, traditional fabrics and traditional wear. You will get to know about the roots of batik and forerunners of Malay batik plus the various types of kain (material) available and used.
If you are in the business of making batik products, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 would interest you where you would learn about the methods and materials used. Chapter 2 covers with much detail Malaysia's metal block batik including types of metal blocks as well as the process of preparing the cloth, waxing, dyeing - an elaborate process that is well-documented by the author. Accompanying pictures provide for better understanding.
In Chapter 3 the reader is exposed to Malaysia's new stylus batik. Again, you can learn about the materials and methods used in this new method of print. This new style brings forth a burst of vibrant colours and prints which pave the way for an exciting new chapter in Malaysian batik.
Malaysian batik has been given a new boost both locally and internationally thanks to the foundation, Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia. This book does justice to the work of this foundation which took pains in organising various activities to promote batik - from local design competitions to various collaborations overseas at art festivals, trade fairs and fashion shows. From this book, you will get an idea of what constitutes formal and informal batik wear and the designers and their specialities. Designs by Melinda Looi, Tom Abang Saufi and Carven Ong are featured, among others.
Malaysian batik has evolved into a multifunctional fabric. Initially restricted to just the woman's sarong, new developments have allowed batik to develop beyond its traditional use as clothing to soft furnishings and decorative items for the home and the hospitality trade.
Nowadays you can find tablecloths, table runners, napkins, pillowcases, bed linens, cushion covers, wall hangings, photo-frames, tissue boxes made with batik fabric/prints. All these and more are covered in the book.
The author hasn't forgotten Batik as Art. If you visit the National Art Museum in Kuala Lumpur you would be able to view these original batik paintings.
Malaysian batik has come a long way and has now gone global.
After going through the book, I would say this is a must-have batik reference book for anyone in the batik industry - entrepreneurs, designers and students of the art - for a better understanding of the business of batik. And a highly-recommended book for everybody's coffee table, but of course.
Why do I refer to Malaysian Batik: Reinventing a Tradition as a reference book? Because besides information about the history of Batik and how-to's and so forth, you can also find an exhaustive directory of Designers, Entrepreneurs, Batik Art Schools - names and contact information provided. That's not all, for ease of reference, the Index is a tremendous help for you to locate the what and the who in the book. A really cool feature this one.
Yes, this too is featured..
Thanks to Tuttle, I now have a copy of this truly amazing book.
And now you can have the chance of winning a copy for yourself courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.
Here's how you can win:
1. Leave a comment here on this blog post and tell me your impression of Batik and/or tell me something about a Batik item that you own. That simple.
2. Please make sure you leave a valid email address with your comment (but this will not be published). Your email address will be used to contact you should you win.
3. The closing date for entries is Sunday, 26 October midnight. The winner will be determined through a random draw.
4. Should you win, you will be contacted for your postal address for the prize to be sent to, and the prize will be mailed out directly by the publisher, Tuttle Publishing.
5. Contest is open to all. Hurry, you have only a week to enter.