Whispers on the Grasslands: An Ikat Exhibition at Padma Resort Legian

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Published by Sugar & Cream, Friday 23 November 2018

Text by Hermawan K, Images and text in English courtesy of Sarasvati Design Store, Padma Resort Legian

The Divine Ikat from Sumba : Nov 25, 2018 – Feb 15, 2019 

Denpasar, Bali, October 2018 – For the very first time, Padma Resort Legian will hold a special exhibition to expose Ikat, a traditional textile from Sumba island, East Nusa Tenggara. With the title of ‘WHISPERS ON THE GRASSLANDS’, this event is a celebration of magnificent traditional textiles from East Sumba produced in recent years. These textiles were made using centuries-old weaving tradition and methods inherited from generation to generation. This traditional method called Ikat is famous especially for its complexity, rich colours, and unique designs based on human, animals, and plants. “We are thrilled to have this event at Padma Resort Legian, the resort is well-known for bringing art as an essential part of the resort through interior designs, landscapes, several events and many more. Our aim is to introduce Indonesian heritage especially Ikat to Padma Resort Legian’s guests from diverse countries“, expressed Anny Soerjanto, Creative Director.

Traditional textiles of Indonesia in general, also known as Wastra, has always played an important role in the social, cultural, and spiritual development of the archipelago. As the indigenous people were originally naked, a piece of cloth became an exclusive statement in the social hierarchy. Then the clothes were gradually ornamented and became such an offering for the respected One. Particularly in East Sumba, the textile becomes a symbol for the connection between physical and spiritual world, between the people here on earth and their Ancestors and Divinity. Certain pieces of Ikat was being made to fulfil a requirement of some elements in the ritual. Until this present time, the rituals and ceremonies are still being practised sacredly, from the birth ritual, age passages, protection from illness, marriage, commercial trade, until the funeral. And the textile always becomes an important element to make the ritual complete.

Furthermore, an extensively ornamented Ikat represented by the number of colours, sizes, and motifs were used to distinguish the commoners and royal families. The motifs on the bi were derived from myths and stories passed from generation to generation. Traditionally, certain motif strictly belongs to a certain clan, and great consequences applied for replicating motif from other clans.

These motifs are applied to the textile with various methods. The simplest one is applying the motif on the vertical thread of the loom (warp, local name: Lungsi) by tying with the dye-resistant material then dipping in natural dye, and then aligning this vertical thread neatly to obtain a precise motif. While weaving the horizontal thread (weft, local name: Pakan) to reveal the motif, the weaver needs to adjust the repeatedly to maintain pattern alignment. Particularly, East Sumbanese developed a local method called Pahikung. Yet its less well-known, Pahikung textile is very sophisticated and technically demanding. The weaver employs supplementary warp to embellish textiles with an infinite range of geometric designs. It is believed that East Sumba is the only region in the Malay Archipelago where Pahikung has reached a high degree of refinement.

Until this very moment, the weavers in East Sumba still employ the traditional natural dying technique that has been rooted in their culture. To obtain red-maroon, they use the root of morinda ctrifolia, while blue obtained from the leaves of indigo tinctoria. The bark of ceriops tagal creates ochre colour, and the bark of maclura chochinchinensis makes yellow.

This exhibition is the first series of Indonesian Textile Exhibition in Padma Resort Legian. Revealing the local wisdom of Indonesian craftsmen, which are almost extinct, is the main objective of this exhibition. It is also expected that this exhibition might bring some economic value that could be an encouragement for local craftsmen to preserve their culture and knowledge.

The exhibition will start on November 25th, 2018 at 6 pm with free flow canapes and drinks. Sarasvati Design Store at Padma Resort Legian will be the host for this 3- month exhibition until February 15th, 2019. Besides traditional textiles, there will be also displays of East Sumbanese crafts and photography installation to present a complete understanding of their culture. All guests are welcome to come and experience the exquisite exhibition with no entry fee.

Text by Hermawan K, Images and text in English courtesy of Sarasvati Design Store, Padma Resort Legian

The Divine Ikat from Sumba : Nov 25, 2018 – Feb 15, 2019 

Untuk pertama kalinya, Padma Resort Legian akan menghelat pameran istimewa yang memanggungkan Ikat. Sebuah perayaan atas tradisi tenun memukau dari Sumba yang telah berlangsung selama ratusan tahun.

Bertajuk ‘Whispers on the Grasslands’, pameran ini mengetengahkan daya pikat Ikat yang terletak pada kompleksitas, kekayaan warna, dan desain unik yang mengadopsi dari manusia, hewan, dan tumbuhan.

“Kami sangat antusias untuk menggelar acara ini di Padma Resort Legian, mengingat resor ini dikenal karena menjadikan seni sebagai elemen esensial melalui desain interior, lanskap, dan lainnya. Tujuan kami adalah memperkenalkan warisan nusantara, dalam hal ini Ikat, kepada para tamu Padma Resort Legian yang datang dari berbagai negara,” ujar Anny Soerjanto selaku Creative Director.

Di Sumba Timur, tekstil menjadi simbol hubungan antara dunia fisik dan spiritual, antara manusia di bumi, nenek moyang, dan keilahian. Karya-karya Ikat tertentu dibuat untuk melengkapi pelaksanaan ritual. Ikat yang kaya ornamen yang direpresentasikan oleh jumlah warna, ukuran, dan motif, digunakan untuk membedakan antara rakyat jelata dan keluarga kerajaan. Hingga saat ini, para penenun di Sumba Timur masih mengaplikasikan teknik mewarnai secara alami yang telah mengakar kuat di kultur mereka.

Pameran ini merupakan rangkaian pertama dari Indonesian Textile Exhibition yang digelar di Padma Resort Legian. Selain menampilkan kearifan lokal dari para perajin tanah air, pameran ini diharapkan juga dapat membawa nilai ekonomis yang akan semakin mendorong para perajin lokal untuk melestarikan budaya dan pengetahuan mereka.

Pameran yang tidak memungut biaya masuk ini akan berlangsung mulai dari 25 November hingga 15 Februari 2019, dengan Sarasvati Design Store sebagai host. Selain tekstil tradisional, pameran juga menyuguhkan karya-karya kerajinan dan instalasi fotografi yang menegaskan keindahan budaya Sumba.

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