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Wall hanging, by F. Agus Mudjono

Indonesians, especially the Javanese, are regarded as the world’s foremost practitioners of batik – a resist patterning technique. Hot wax is painted or stamped on cloth, which is then dipped in vats of dye. The wax blocks the dye from the patterned areas, and subsequent applications create the multi-coloured cloth. This one has coloured crackle lines where a special brittle wax cracked before and during being immersed in dye.

Where was this textile created?

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The Mythical Monkey

Wall hanging, by F. Agus Mudjono
Asia: South East Asia, Indonesia, Java
Batik technique on woven cotton
106 cm x 153 cm
Gift of Vicki Gabereau
T84.0072 Textile Museum of Canada

On this batik cloth, Hanuman the white monkey confronts the demon Lankini, who is guarding the gates of the city of Lanka. The artist created it as a textile painting while following the traditional batik method of Java. The mastery of the batik technique is impressive: the Hanuman figure is pure white while other areas of the painting show the distinctive crackle patterns of hot wax resist.

Hanuman is a character in the great Hindu epic, Ramayana, in which he plays the role of trickster and merry adventurer. The immortal flying monkey is known in many parts of the world including Central Asia, China, Korea, Japan, India and Indonesia.

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