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Sunday, 10 March 2013





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Glorious new art in batik

Eric Suriyasena puts the finishing touches

Wow, what a feat it was. I never imagined one could do miracles with the dying batik industry. My first reaction was its versatality which the painter had exploited. I mean this glorious batik painting exhibition Melted Expressions displayed by Eric Suriyasena at the Lionel Wendt recently.

I have seen and reviewed many art exhibitions but this was unique in new techniques. The glow of it hits you right away with their subtle colours melting into dark shades only to fade away to visions or dreams, whatever you call them.With the batik industry taking a nosedive and losing its vibrance and the excitement it had years ago, even the saree wearer seems not interested any more. New thinking had to be done to save its face and it was left in the hands of the batik virtuoso Eric Suriyasena who pioneered the industry until it hit the international market. It came with the idea of batik as a painting subject.

Suriyasena picked his brush and palette and found his dreams merging into reality. He answered the call of all those who were fed up with normal paintings in their sitting rooms and the walls in plush hotels and other buildings and seeking a new innovation in interior décor to deck their walls. His determination towards a new concept to present batik as an art, finally bore results and will not be long when they adorn our homes and places of work and draw the tourists to this new technique.

It is a very intricate art that needs patience. Using normal silk , especially imported from China and the painting medium from Germany, he mixes all colours subtly to enhance the wonderful art.

He also uses fabric for further impact. With his strong personality, he is one of the most individual artistes who had earlier confined himself to batik craft but had the courage to break away for newer innovation. He is different from his colleagues who in theory subscribe to the same ideals.

A batik creation

Suiryasena's spirit of work overcomes all technical deficiencies. His work has the capacity to produce exquisite results which is a challenge to the others engaged in painting. He is anchored in the highest development in the new batik paining system. His classic method of applying transparent washes to create vigorously painted subjects produce a sparkling effect. For this purpose, a hint of gold finish with jewels and crystal gems are added for a special effect in some paintings. Brushes have to be thin, taking into consideration that it is done on pure silk and not rough canvas.

To what extent he practised batik art is a question that can be discussed with one look at his work. They are passionate with colour and robust on subject. He is true to his sensation and cannot be false to visual reality from his doctrine of following what happens in his mind with the palatte in hand. He is subjective to his visual sensation caused by light and shadow only if people dare look that way.

But one has to give time to them to acquaint themselves with this new form of art. So far there is a common aim for inspiration picked by Suriyasena with his years of batik experience and now, there's nothing more to achieve in it. So he moves forward with new concepts.

He is known as the chief of the batik school of thought but is ready to leave it in its trail and pick its best tangles to create something unique as revealed in Melted Expressions.



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