Batik Peranakan

Temporary Exhibition


“Chinese crossbreed community has an important role in the development of culture and batik industry in Indonesia, especially Java island. Historically the progress of the Chinese crossbreed community took place in stages so as to achieve a certain level of expertise and design choices. No wonder some of the batik products made by Chinese crossbreed batik entrepreneurs, known as Chinese Crossbreed Batik, are very well known for their smoothness, design, motifs and colors. For instance, batik products produced by batik companies Oey Soe Tjoen, The Tie Siet, Lie Boen Len, Tjoa Giok Tjiam and so on have become part of the important collections of various famous museums and collectors in Indonesia and abroad.”

(William Kwan Hwie Liong)


Apart from the existence of batik as a cultural and industrial work that is spread in various countries, Indonesian batik is the only one that until now has gained international recognition. On October 2, 2009 Indonesian batik was confirmed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.


If I usually attended a temporary exhibition with a duration of one week or more, this time the temporary exhibition was only held for three days (including exhibition opening). This temporary exhibition was held in collaboration with Indonesian Cross-Cultural Community and Bentara Budaya by displaying a small selected collection by a collector, Hartono Sumarsono, and supported by the collection of Irwan Julianto, a literary lover and retired Kompas Daily journalist. The collections display consisted of old batik and reproduction representing various batik centers of the coast of Java, ranging from Cirebon, Indramayu, Tegal, Pekalongan, Kedungwuni, Batang, Lasem, Kudus, Demak, to Sidoarjo; moreover, non-Javanese coastal batik such as Tasikmalaya, Garut, Banyumas/Purwokerto, Yogyakarta and Solo.

Kain Panjang - Katura from Cirebon with Kylin & Hong Bird Motif

Irwan Julianto’s Collection


Kie Lin & Hong Bird

The beast that had the trust to take God and Goddess wherever they went was named Kie Lin. Furthermore, hong bird (Feng Huang) is often referred to as the phoenix, although it is actually different from the phoenix which originated from Egypt.

The colors on the feathers of the hong bird symbolize five good qualities, namely: black symbolizes loyalty, white honesty, red politeness, green justice and yellow generosity.

If a dragon is a yang, hong bird is yin.  If the dragon is the symbol of the emperor, the hong bird represents the empress.  In Java, the hong bird in batik was considered to repel reinforcements.

The dragon juxtaposed with the hong bird symbolizes the happiness marital.

Batik Lawas Collection


This batik motif felt special due to remind me of one of my grandmother’s collections with a similar motif.

One of the Collector that was Explaining the Collections to the Visitor


The Isen Nguku Motif in Kedungwuni’s Style


The Isen Tutul Paris Motif in Pekalongan’s Style


The Isen Nguku Motif on Flower Petals & Sawutan Motif

Oey Soe Tjoen Batik Design


Isen Motif as the Batik Complementary

In batik, not all paintings are the main motif, but there are also those called as isen motifs or complementary motifs.

Isen can be translated as "stuffing", pictures that serve to fill the main ornaments in batik.

Although as a complement, isen is always adjusted to the main motif to make it look solid, unified and fit.

Duta Batik Peranakan Book

Indonesian Ministry of Tourism

Oey Soe Tjoen (2014, 228 pages)

Exhibition’s Collection

Hartono Sumarsono’s Collection

Enjing Sonten - Mevr. Tan Tjeng Tong

Hartono Sumarsono’s Collection


Baby Carrier

Katura Cirebon Reproduction


Katura Batik Studio

Katura Batik Studio was formed in 2007 which is located on Trusmi Kulon Street No.5 Plered District, Cirebon Regency.  The owner of this batik studio is Katura AR, a 58 year old man who is the eighth generation of his family who makes batik.

He has successfully maintained and preserved 412 classic “Cirebonan” batik motifs.  Some of the original batik motifs that can be preserved are Mega Mendung, Taman Arum, Naga Seba, Wadasan and Singa Payung.  He received an award from MURI (Indonesian Record Museum) for making handmade batik’s picture of the Largest Babad Alas Wanamarta Wayang Story.


History of Batik Trusmi

Batik began to exist in Trusmi in the 14th century, an area where at that time a lot of plants were growing, then the residents cut down the plants but immediately the plants grew back.  So that the land is called Trusmi Village which comes from the word that continues to bloom.

Originally, Sultan Palace (Keraton) ordered people to make batik like his own without bringing batik samples, he was only allowed to see the motif. When it was due, Trusmi then came back with the batik he had made.  Then the Trusmi asked the Sultan for the original batik, which he then wrapped the two batiks (the original batik with the batik he made/duplicates).

The Trusmi people then asked the Sultan to choose the original batik, but he could not tell the difference, but none of the duplicate batik missed at all from the original batik.  Therefore, the Sultan admitted that the batik made by the Trusmi people was very neat.

Special Remarks

Batik’s Bed Linen Full of Meaning:

  • Bat: Good fate
  • Deer: Wealth/cathedra
  • South Pole Star: Longevity, the God is described as an old man with a long beard and bald head
  • Birdie: Happiness
  • 8-pointed Star: Prosperity and luck
  • Kylin: Truth, justice, peace, also considered to provide fertility
  • Tiger: Protect or repel reinforcements and look after children
  • Hong Bird: Tenderness, elegance, and pure heart (consort)
  • Rooster and ant: Diligence

For further information:

Bentara Budaya Jakarta

Jl. Palmerah Selatan No. 17, Central Jakarta 10270

+6221-5483-008 ext. 7910-13


Social Media:


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Instagram: bentarabudaya.jakarta

Facebook: Bentara Budaya Jakarta

Twitter: @BentaraBudaya

YouTube Channel : Bentara Budaya Jakarta Official



Personal photos and documentation

Personal impression and experience 


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