DChina-USA Business Review, ISSN 1537-1514January 2014, Vol. 13, No. 1, 20-37DAVIDPUBLISHINGCreative Batik Motif Design Based on Local CulturalArt and Natural EnvironmentsTimbul Raharjo, Toyibah Kusumawati, Suryo Tri WidodoIndonesian Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia Local arts, culture, and natural environment of Indonesia had their own uniqueness. They might be explored to helpand to develop batik industry in Indonesia, especially in motif aspect. It was necessary to help craftsmen to createnew and innovative batik products. The study was conducted as an effort to motivate batik craftsmen in developingbatik industry through production of creative and unique batik motives. First study question: What are artisticmotives of local arts and culture of natural environment of Yogyakarta and Central Java able to give distinct andcharacteristically local styles? Second was how to create creative batik inspired by local arts and naturalenvironment. It has identified arts that have potentials to give inspiration of new motives, including Borobudurtemple, Prambanan temple, Sewu temple, leather puppets (Wayang) and keris. Also, it has identified environmentssuch as Merapi Mountain, Code River, Parantritis Beach, Sewu Mountain, Menoreh Hill, Solo River, and GrojoganSewu waterfall. Ten designers and five batik industries were involved in materializing the batik motives in additionto lectures and students. Exploration method was used here that examined motif forms, analysis and creation ofalternative sketches, selection, creation of designs and prototypes, and finally evaluation. The results were 159 batikprototypes of local arts and culture motives. It was concluded that the craftsmen needed new designs of localcharacters of Indonesia that have been created in the study. Also, it has managed to create new names of unique,creative, and innovative batik motives based on the local arts, culture, and also natural environment. They wereready to apply in the production of the batik for commercial purpose.Keywords: creative, innovative, local arts, local culture, local natural environmentOutcome PredictionsBatik was one of the kinds of industry in Java. The industry has long been popular and developing up tothe present. The well-known batik industrial areas of Java among others were Yogyakarta and Solo. There weremany people of the areas who worked as batik industrial craftsmen/entrepreneurs. However, not all of thecraftsmen and the entrepreneurs in the batik industry managed to develop their business. The causal factorsamong others were the limitation in the ability of the entrepreneurs in the batik industry to develop and tocreate more innovative batik products, while consumers were increasingly critical in selecting the batikproducts they want to buy. Consequently, it required them to keep pace with the demand of their consumers.Timbul Raharjo, DR., Drs., M.Hum, Chairman of Art Management Master Study Program, Postgraduate Program of IndonesianInstitute of the Arts Yogyakarta.Toyibah Kusumawati, S.Sn., M.Sn, Department of Crafts, Faculty of Fine Arts, Indonesian Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta.Suryo Tri Widodo, S.Sn., M.Hum, Department of Crafts, Faculty of Fine Arts, Indonesian Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta.Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Timbul Raharjo, Tirto Rt. 06, Kasongan, Bangunjiwo, Kasihan,Bantul, Yogyakarta, 55184, Indonesia. E-mail: [email protected]

CREATIVE BATIK MOTIF DESIGN BASED ON LOCAL CULTURAL ART21Considering the condition described above, it was necessary to help the batik industrial society bydeveloping strategies in developing the industry so that they were able to satisfy market tastes and to competeglobally. One of the strategies was to make creative efforts, especially in developing batik motives/designs thatwere unique, creative, and innovative based on local cultural arts and natural environment elements.There were many cultural heritages in Yogyakarta and Solo such as Borobudur temple, Prambanan temple,Sewu temple, wayang, and keris representing valuable cultural heritages of forefathers that had interestingstructures, forms and beautiful ornaments. Additionally, the areas also had beautiful natural environment. Thecultural arts and the environement had huge potential to serve as inspiring source of new creative batik motives.Therefore, it was expected that unique, creative, and innovative batik motives would be created and becamesuperior products that gained consumer’s acceptance.The objectives of the study were: To create new, unique, creative, and innovative batik motives based on local cultural arts and naturalenvironment; To improve the quality and the productivity of batik industry by diversifying the products and by creatinginnovative designs to satisfy market tastes; To help batik industrial society in the areas of Yogyakarta, Solo, and the surrounding areas, especially thosewith difficulties in developing their business because of their limited ability in developing and creatinginnovative designs of batik product; To motivate the entrepreneurs in batik industry, to reactivate, and to increase the production of creativeindustry of batik handicrafts.The uses of the study were: The entrepreneurs in the batik industry of Yogyakarta, Solo areas, and the surrounding areas, especiallythose with difficulties in developing their business and in accessing knowledge, skills, and experiences in the areaof designs and batik; The entrepreneurs in the batik industry could adopt or develop the batik motives and designs resulting fromthe study in producing batik products. Natural environment would be well-preserved because the study put the priority on the use of naturaldyestuffs.Study MethodThe study used cultural and artistic aspects as inspiring source in creating batik motives, includingBorobudur temple, Prambanan temple, Sewu temple, keris, and wayang of Solo style. Additionally, it also usednatural environment of Yogyakarta and Solo to enrich the diversity and the beauty of the resulting motives. Theproposed results of the study would be different from those of prior studies though they used the same ideasource, which was Prambanan temple. It was planned that the study would be organized in three months withthe following design of activities:(1) The collection of the data of temples, wayang and keris was carried out through literature study andinterview. All of the resulting data were then analyzed and used as the basis in creating batik design/motives;(2) The creation of batik motives includes following activities: creating alternative sketches; selecting sketches;

22CREATIVE BATIK MOTIF DESIGN BASED ON LOCAL CULTURAL ARTcreating batik designs/motives; evaluating batik designs/motives.(3) The materialization of batik products based on the created designs followed by the evaluation of thematerialized products;(4) The exhibition of the results of the study;(5) The socialization of the results of the study to the craftsmen of the batik in Yogyakarta, Solo, and thesurrounding areas and to the institution concerned, including Department of Industry and National CraftCouncil, and so on;(6) The training of creating batik designs and products for the craftsmen of batik in Yogyakarta, Solo, andthe surrounding areas.Once the activities of the study have been in completion, it was expected that the resulting motives wereused and even considered as the reference for further development by the craftsmen in the batik industry. The Definition of Temple, Keris, Wayang, and Natural EnvironmentTempleThe term candi, meaning temple, came from candika that was one of the names of Durga goddess as thegoddess of death (Soekmono, 1973). Therefore, the temple was often related to the means of enthronement of aking. The term candi in Indonesian referred to an ancient religious building of Hindu-Buddha civilization(Dumarcay, 2007). It was used as the sacred place to worship gods and goddesses or to venerate Buddha.Actually, it was not only used as religious place, but also as non-religious one. It was evidenced in manyarcheological sites from classic Indonesian Hindu-Buddha epoch that served the function of palace, bathingplace, gateway, and so on. All of the ancient building might also be referred to as temple.Others suggested that temples were replicas of gods’ living place, which was Mahameru Mountain.Therefore, the architecture of the temples was ornamented with various kinds of carvings and relievesresembling the natural condition of Mahameru Mountain (Supriatna, 2011). The temples and the message sentthrough their architecture along with their sculptures were inseparable of their spiritual content, creative power,and the skills of the creators. The existing interpretation of the temple only referred to the building inheritanceof Hindu-Buddha epoch in Indonesian archipelago, including Malaysia. The temple referred to historicbuildings of Hindu-Buddha all over the world, including Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, SriLanka, India, and Nepal (Retrieved from on the vocabulary of Javanese, the name keris came from the syllable Keris derived from the wordkekeran and the syllable ris derived from the word aris. The kekeran meant fence, hindrance, warning, andcontrol. The word aris meant calm, slow, and fine (Koesni, 2003). Meanwhile, others interpreted the word kerisas sinangker karono aris, meaning that there was a secret in the object, which was noble values of a creativework symbolizing life order and theological understanding. In other words, it had noble meaning of Javanesephilosophy. It also symbolized the sharpness with which human being must think that the resulting an-kultur-budayanya.html). There was in Javanesestratification in the usage of the language and the word keris belonged to the stratum ngoko that was used in the

CREATIVE BATIK MOTIF DESIGN BASED ON LOCAL CULTURAL ART23socialization of individuals of equal social status and its finer usage was dhuwung that belonged to the stratumkrama, while the higher stratum was krama inggil and it was called in the stratum curiga (Koesni, 2003).The whole keris had following parts: ukiran or carvings of its lower part, wilahan or its blade, warangka orits sheath, and pendhok or the cover of the warangka. Actually, what was referred to as the keris was only itsblade and in its development the whole parts that constituted the cultural object were called keris (Hamzuri,1988).WayangThe term wayang might be analyzed from some point of views. In Kamus Umum Bahasa Indonesia(1976) it was defined as figures made of leather, wood, and other materials and imitated human beings. Itwas played in a puppet shadow play (Poerwadarminto, 1976). It also meant shadow (ayang-ayang) becauseits shadow was seen on a screen (kelir) describing people’s behavior in the past in the imagination of thecreator. It was clearly observed in the visualization of the puppet that fitted the behavior of certain characters(Sagio, 1991).It was further described by Pigeaud who defined the wayang as: (1) performed puppets; and (2) theperformance performed in various forms and contained certain teachings accompanied by gamelan ensemble.The term wayang came from Javanese word that meant shadow. Therefore, the wayang was more likely to bedefined as the performance of leather puppet shadow play. Especially, wayang purwa played the stories ofMahabarata, Ramayana, and Kresnayana as the most favorite stories in Java. The wayang purwa was made ofleather and widely known as wayang kulit purwa, leather puppets (Kusumawati, 2011).Natural EnvironmentThe term nature might be understood in its broader meaning as found in the words world, physical world,or material world referring to the phenomena of physical world and also life in general. Natural scale stretchedfrom sub-atom to cosmos. However, it might be considered as coming from English, which was “nature”coming from Greek natura that meant essential quality, innate disposition, and literally meant birth (Harper,2006). The natura was the Greek translation of physis originally related to innate characteristics of plants,animals, and other figures in the world (Naddaf, 2006).In various usages of the concept, the term nature was often used to refer to geology and wild life. It mightgenerally refer to various living plants and animals, and in certain cases it also referred to certain kinds ofobjects and how they changed such as weather and geological aspects of earth and also materials and energiesthat constituted them. It also related to environment or natural environment or wild animals, stones, forests,beaches, and in general things that have not substantially changed by human beings or survived with minorhuman interference.Definition of Batik, Motif, and Batik PatternEtymologically, the term bathik came from Javanese with the suffix tik that meant “tiny”. It was also thecase of the term ambatik (Javanese) or anyerat (writing or drawing something small and complicated) thatmeant painting on plain cloth using wax (malam) and canting, which was a painting tool made manually(Soedarso, 1998). There were those suggesting that the term bathik written in the form of batik or the Javaneseletter tha was written using ta. The batik might be interpreted following jarwa dhosok, which became ngembattitik or rambataning titik-titik, creeping propagation of dots. In Javanese culture, the batik might be understood

24CREATIVE BATIK MOTIF DESIGN BASED ON LOCAL CULTURAL ARTusing equivalent without any further explanation. The verb membatik, creating batik, was understood as longsequence of processes of painting a motif till finished piece (babaran) (Honggopuro, 2002). In other words, itstarted from designing and then creating pattern and waxing, dying and finishing that were referred to aspelorodan, which meant removing the wax from the cloth so that the motif was materialized on the cloth.The main roles of the batik were as clothing material, while the form was adjusted to its function. It served asthe clothing material, while keprabon clothing symbolized magnificence and the nobility of a king, as the clothingworn in the ritual of passage and also pasowanan. It was used in the forms of long clothes (bebed/tapih), kampuh(dodot), semekan (kemben), selendang or shawl, head scarf (dhestar), and sarong (Suyanto, 2002).Ornamental styles or motives represented basic form that served as the point of departure in creatingornaments. It was also the case of the ornamental style and the motives applied to batik media. The motiveswere then arranged in a way that they formed patterns (Dalidjo, 1983). The ornamental styles or the motivesbecame essential for a pattern once the motives have been arranged into a pattern (Gustami, 1980).The motives were usually created on the basis of natural forms such as plants, human beings, animals,inanimate objects (e.g., mountains, clouds, and buildings) and so on. Furthermore, they could also describe orexpress someone’s experience or artist’s esthetic experience. They might be taken from various referentialsources, which were: (1) plants, animals, human beings, mountains, water, clouds, sun, moon, stars, and so on;(2) symbols or god attributes or those in power in the forms of weapons, thrones, letter arrangement, and so on;(3) the forms of human imaginary forms such as kinara-kinari, ganesha, kala-makana, and so on; and (4)geometric forms such as circles, triangles, squares, and so on (Dalidjo, 1983).Creating a motif was drawing basic object or idea of new forms. The forms were then processed into newforms that were beautiful, of flat impression and did not have any of their original characteristics of the sourceof the idea. It was necessary in creating an ornamental style to undergo transforming process of the realisticoriginal forms into new and unrealistic forms, which were artistic and ornamental in nature that fittedornamental elements. An ornament must have decorative characteristic and the decorative forms could becreated by deforming and stylizing the original objects. Deforming meant transforming existing form of anobject into new form without removing the original characteristics, while stylizing meant transforming theexisting form into more flexible one (Sutanto, 1984). Furthermore, it was described that the ornamental style ofthe batik was generally in the forms of: (1) stylization, which was enrichment and the transformation of forminto more stylistic without abandoning its original characteristics; (2) distortion, which was the transformationof a form for the purpose of accentuating certain elements of an object; and (3) decorative, which wassimplifying a form regardless of perspectives and three dimensional aspect (Riyanto, 1993).In creating a new motif without abandoning the original characteristics of an object, the object must bethoroughly studied. The resulting motives were then arranged into a pattern of motives. The pattern of the batikwas arranged in various ways, which were among others regularly repeating it on a drawing area divided intoordered areas. The methods to repeat a motif were: (1) unidirectional repetition; (2) reversed repetition; (3)rotated repetition; and (4) free or variable repetition (Suryahadi, 1998).A batik pattern was made of two main elements, which were primary motif, filling motif (isen-isen).Primary ornamental style was the one that became the main element of a batik motif. A motif was an ornamentapplied on the background of the pattern as the filling elements or balancer that the pattern got its harmony. Theisen-isen was an ornament that filled the main parts of a motif.

CREATIVE BATIK MOTIF DESIGN BASED ON LOCAL CULTURAL ART25The Sources Inspiration of Batik Motif Design CreationBorobudur TempelBorobudur temple was situated in Borobudur village of Borobudur sub-district of Magelang district ofCentral Java province. The geographic environment surrounding the temple was mountainous areas of Merapiand Merbabu mountains in east, Sindoro and Sumbing mountains in north, and Menoreh in south and it wassituated between Progo and Elo rivers.The temple was built in nine layers of terrace and a single main stupa on its top. The layers of terraceconsisted of six terraces of square form and three terraced of circle form. The three lower layers were referredto as kamadhatu, rupadhatu and arupadhatu so that technically it had lower part, middle part, and upper part. Ithad ascending stairs in its main four directions with the main gait situated in the east. The building materials ofthe temple came from the rivers in the surrounding areas with the total volume of about 55,000 m3 (BalaiKonservasi Peninggalan Borobudur, 2011). Observed from above, it was of square form with its center of acircle on which the stupa was situated.The lower part that was referred to as kamadhatu consisted of undag wall and open verandah and behind itwas the real foot of the temple. The rupadhatu terrace of the body of the temple consisted of paths one, two,three and four. Ornamental style of antefixes was found on the wall of the terrace and water ducts were foundon each of the outer corners. The lower wall and the upper wall were connected by floor line. Meanwhile, rightabove the floor line and behind the antefixes was balustrades along with their feet, body and head, except thepath one.The arupadhatu or the head of the temple consisted of shelf (batur) levels one, two, three and the centralstupa. The three walls were straight or level without any foot profile and the head did not have any relief. Therewere small stupas on the shelves in which were Buddha statues. There were 72 small stupas distributed in threerespective levels of the temples, consisting of 36 statues, 24 statues, and 16 statues. The stupa of the upper partof the temple consisted of three profiles. The feet had a characteristic of padma profile, the body had thecharachterisic of genta profile, while the head had the characteristic of harmika and yasthi profile (Tukidjan,2008).There were many ornaments found on the walls of the temple such as the ornamental styles of leaves andspiraling plants. The ornamental styles were found on the panels flanking the narrative relieves on the mainwalls situated in the paths one, two, three, and four (Kismayanti, 2013). Additionally, there were also reliefstelling stories such as karmawibangga, lalitavistara, jataka, avadana, and gandawyuha.Prambanan TemplePrambanan temple was the biggest Hindu temple situated in Prambanan area of the Special District ofYogyakarta. It consisted of 240 temples that were classified into three yards. Each of the yards was separatedby surrounding fences with gates in its four directions. There were 16 temples in the first yard, including maintemple and three wahana temples, two flanking (apit) temples and four pathok temples and also four cornertemples.The main temple consisted of Brahma temple situated in south area, Siva temple in central area, and Visnutemple in north area. Each of the temples faced eastward. The wahana temple was the vehicle temple (asana) ofthe three gods of trimurti, which were Angsa temple as the vehidle of god Brahma, Nandi temple as the vehicleof god Siva, and Garuda temple as the vehicle of god Visnu. The three temples were situated in front of the

26CREATIVE BATIK MOTIF DESIGN BASED ON LOCAL CULTURAL ARTmain temple and faced westward. The flanking (apit) temple was the one that flanked three main temples andthe wahana temples, consisting of north and south flanking temples. The pathok temple was situated in each ofthe yard corners and kelir temple was situated in each of the entrance gate. There were 224 perwara temples inthe second yard and there was not any temple found in the third yard. However, excavation was conducted andfound some foundation structure that was expected to be the one of monks living areas.The Prambanan temple had luxurious ornamental patterns and its architecture was grandiosely soaring.The ornaments might be classified into flora, fauna and divine creatures and also kala-makara. The floralornaments consisted of spiraling plants, circle-shape of flowers, patched papers, and lotuses. The faunaornaments included goose, dogs, chickens, squirrels, crocodiles, eagles, elephants, fishes, tigers, lizards,cockatoo, scorpions, frogs, monkeys, donkeys, rabbits, snails, crow, crabs, horses, pigeon, parrot, deer, ox, rats,lions, and snakes, while the ornaments of divine creatures included kinara-kinari. Additionally, the temple alsohad well-known ornamental styles of batik that were referred to as nitik, sida mukti, pinggiran, and semen.Another well-known ornamental style of the temple was Prambanen ornamental style and it was not foundin any other temple. It was one of the special ornaments of the temple. It had three niches containing sittinglions between two kalpataru trees and other complementary ornaments. One of the complementary ornamentswas umbrella and birds on the kalpataru trees and also the divine creatures kinara-kinari under the trees inaddition to peacocks, goats, antelopes, rabbits, chickens, gooses, and so on. The complex of the templescontained relieves telling the stories of Ramayana, Kresnayana, dancers, and music players, Ghana, Brahma asresi, Visnuas monk, and so on.Sewu TempleSewu temple was situated about a kilometer north east of the group of Prambanan temple. It consisted of249 buildings consisting of a main temple, eight flanking temples, and 240 perwara temples. It was expectedthat it used to have three yards and each of the yards was separated by surrounding fences. The main templewas situated in the first yard surrounded by fences of 85 cm of height. The main temple had central chamberand four displaying cahmbers and each of the chambers had its respective entrance gate. The east entrance gateserved as the main entrance gate into central chamber and hence it was concluded that the temple facedeastward.There was a series of relieves depicting the ornamental style of purnakalsa or flower vase in addition tolion statues in each of the meeting corners of the feet and the structure of stairs. Also, there was a relief in theouter side of the stairs whose ends were in the form of makara. The relief depicted a demon kalpawrksa and aflower vase in the form of sankha. Various ornaments were also found in the body of the temple, which wereamong others: (1) kala makara in front of their doors; (2) a relief of a sitting god in the position vajrasanawhose head was surrounded by fire or siracakra as the symbol of goodness and it was situated below kala; (3)the relieves depicting some dancers and small drum players were also found on the outer wall of the balustrade;and (4) ghana representing divine creature was depicted as dwarf and it was found in the corners of the temple.The ornaments of the top of the temple were among others pilasters, niches, artefixes decorated by god statuesand ornamental plants (Kusen, 1992).Additionally, the main temple of the Sewu temple had the ornaments of medallions, flowers and spiralingplants, patched papers, and so on. The ornaments of flowers and jewelries/perls and shawls/ribbons were thecharacteristics of the Sewu temple.

CREATIVE BATIK MOTIF DESIGN BASED ON LOCAL CULTURAL ART27Keris of Solo StyleKeris of Yogyakarta and Surakarta styles emerged after Giyanti treaty in 1755. The division of Mataram inJava into Yogyakarta and Surakarta was based on the treaty. The two kingdoms developed differently,especially in the kingdom protected rules. However, they might be considered as following the same pattern(Kusumawati, 2011). The kingdom of Surakarta represented the continuation of Kartasura kingdom because itwas ruled by a king. Surakarta also had the right to own tangguh of the keris itself. The kingdom developedindependently as a result of the presence of cultural shift. The innovation caused the change in the form of thekeris of Kartasura tangguh into Surakarta tangguh (Harsrinuksmo, 2004).The keris of Surakarta style represented the continuation of the keris of Kartasura tangguh that the keriswas created in the period of Surakarta palace since the period of Paku Buwono III in 1721.In general, the keris of Surakarta era used fine iron with pamor pattern, the pamor material was excessive,the body of the keris resembled the fingers of cassava leaves, always used ada-ada, gula milir, and pekakan thatthe tip of the keris resembled a tail/the buttock of hair louse, used big pesi and meteorit pamor was usedbecause it required facial manifestation (Harsrinuksmo, 2004).The form of Javanese keris of Solo style experienced significant changes in Majapahit era into its latestform. The carvings of the kerist of Majapahit era presented the forms of ascetics with bowing position. Theform is up to the present time clearly observed in the forms of the statues that have been stylized and lost itsstatue characteristics and the bowing figure remained. If there were ornamental variations, the typical formedwould not disappear.In general, there were two forms of warangka or sheath of Solo style, which were ladrang and gayaman.The ladrang consisted of angkup, lata, janggut, gandhek, godhong (resembled leave), gandar, ri, and cangkring.Gayaman (gandhon) was almost of the same parts as the ladrang, but there was not any angkup, godhong, andgandhek (Retrieved from The warangka of Surakarta style was usually referred toas wanda of Surakarta Hadiningrat with wide form and various and luxurious pattern. The form of godhonganwas wide, luxurious, and of various pattern. The handle had arched carvings and widened in its head, while thelower part of wadah or the sheath of the sharp blade of the keris was also wide (Buanadjaya, 1997).Purwa Leather Puppet of Solo StyleIn general, purwa leather puppet of Solo type was of static impression, especially the purwa leatherpuppets, had slim physical form but had valuable distinct beauty if it was played in a leather puppet shadowplay because the puppeteer could easily play and control the wooden puppets so that the puppeteer affairs ofSurakarta style was more likely to be dominant. Concerning with the form aspect the leather puppets alsodeveloped and even the shift of the tradition into new creation. In the glorious era of Surakarta Kingdom leatherpuppets of huge dimension have even been created and named Kyai Kadung (Sagio, 1991).The typical characteristic of the leather puppets of Solo style was found in the part called praba, whichwas the ornaments used by knights and it was of big dimension and resembled wings symbolizing life light orhighly regarded figures. The carvings of Soly style were more compact and used red and blue colors that gavecomplicated impression. Kelat bahu of hand and leg ornaments were simpler and short. The part ulur-ulur orthe ornament of chest resembling the stretching rope that was carved in a way that it became was veryinteresting, the separation of the protruding part on the right and left sides that separated by fine flowerswithout any significant protruding part between the rope and the stem of the flower.

28CREATIVE BATIK MOTIF DESIGN BASED ON LOCAL CULTURAL ARTGunungan puppet of Solo style had the picture of a straight and widening gate adjacent to the edge part ofthe gunungan puppet, which was rather thick. The giant leather puppets were in general described as slimmerso that it was easier to play them. The clothings worn by the knight characters and the king generally usedparang rusak batik as sandhangan at the same time served as the sign that they were great knights though therewere also some knights that did not wear the clothings made of the batik parang rusak (Soekatno, 1992).Merapi MountainMerapi Mountain repre

Creative Batik Motif Design Based on Local Cultural Art and Natural Environments . Based on the vocabulary of Javanese, the name keris came from the syllable Keris derived from the word kekeran and the syllable ris derived from the word a