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The Javanese batik collection of King Chulalongkorn of Siam exhibition


Photographs: Chayawat Manasiri
Jan 23, 2020

The Javanese batik collection of King Chulalongkorn of Siam exhibition

Photographs: Chayawat Manasiri
Jan 23, 2020

The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles Presents Second Rotation of A Royal Treasure: The Javanese Batik Collection of King Chulalongkorn of Siam Exhibition

A rare glimpse into a new set of beautiful handcrafted batik textiles of King Chulalongkorn and the Sirikit pattern batik, open to the public from 24 January 2020

The exhibition will serve to shed light on the life of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, and his three visits to Java, and His Majesty’s vision in compiling knowledge and culture to lay the foundation for the sustainable development of the country that is still apparent today.

The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles (QSMT) has been organising “A Royal Treasure: The Javanese Batik Collection of King Chulalongkorn of Siam Exhibition” rotating exhibition presented in three rotations. The first one was officially launched and has been on display since 1 November 2018. 

Starting from 24 January, 2020, the second rotation will feature entirely new pieces that never been displayed before. This will allow the public to view the beauty of batik textiles from various area in Java that form part of the King Chulalongkorn collection.

On this occasion, the QSMT will also organise a private viewing session of the exhibition’s second rotation by Piyavara Teekara Natenoi, the director of QSMT; and Sarttarat Muddin, the curator; who will provide the details of the exhibition and lead the tour on Thursday 23 January 2020 at the QSMT in the Grand Palace compound. They will also provide details on the batik printing demonstration using a copper press by a batik expert from Yogyakarta, Indonesia. 

Thanpuying Charungjit Teekara said on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of Indonesia in 2020, the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles changes all the batik objects in the exhibition. The new rotation will start from 24 January 2020. In the name of QSMT, I would like to thank you to the Indonesian ambassador to Thailand, HE Ahmad Rusdee, for both Indonesian performances and snacks for every guest today.

Piyavara Teekara Natenoi, the director of QSMT, spoke of the background to The Javanese Batik Collection of King Chulalongkorn: Bonds Between Siam and Java exhibition. During King Chulalongkorn’s visit to Java, His Majesty viewed a demonstration of batik painting which was a famous local handicraft. He was greatly pleased by the batik textiles and bought a large number of pieces. When combined with the pieces that were gifted to him, there were over 300 pieces in the collection, all of which were rich in their beautiful batik artistry and outstanding in the cultural knowledge of traditional Javanese costumes they provided.

These textiles have been stored, with individual inventory tags showing informative details such as place of origin, pattern name and price for many of the pieces, constituting important documentation. As there are a total of 307 pieces in the entire collection, and a capacity to display only 40 pieces at a time, the museum therefore has scheduled this year two rotations - in January and in September. This will allow the public a sufficient opportunity to view the royal collection of batik textiles and the historical and cultural background of each piece.

The QSMT will replace the entire original display for the second rotation which will feature 37 pieces from King Chulalongkorn’s royal batik collection, as well as one piece featuring the Sirikit batik pattern. Among the highlights of the latest acquisitions are a few pieces that have never been displayed before, namely, the Mikado pattern from Yogyakarta which reflects the Japanese influence in the various Japanese fans portrayed through the batik printing technique, as well as the blangkon headdress painted with gold known as batik prada, assumed to come from Cirebon, West Java. It was used only on special occasions by male members of the royal family. Only one piece has been found in the entire royal collection.

A Royal Treasure: The Javanese Batik Collection of King Chulalongkorn of Siam exhibition in divided into two rooms. The first room shows pieces with a provenance on the northern coast of Central Java and West Java, while the second room displays pieces from Central Java including Yogyakarta and Surakarta. There will also be an audiovisual presentation of batik production for an enhanced understanding of the process.

Furthermore, the QSMT has received the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Thailand to organise a workshop “Javanese batik demonstration” by experts from Yogyakarta in the auditorium of the QSMT from 24-26 January 2020.

The workshop is limited to 4 sessions per day, with 15 participants per session. The fee is THB200 per person (inclusive of museum entrance and workshop equipment). For further information or reservations, please call 0-2225-9420, 0-2225-9460 ext 0 daily from 9am - 5pm, or at: www.facebook.com/qsmtthailand 

The second rotation of A Royal Treasure: The Javanese Batik Collection of King Chulalongkorn of Siam exhibition will be open to the public from 24 January 2020 in Gallery 3-4 at the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles in the Grand Palace. This exhibition displayed in Galleries 3 and 4 at the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles.

The museum is open daily from 9 am. to 4 pm. (last admission 3.30 pm).  Admission is THB150 for adults, THB80 for seniors, THB50 for students (student card must be presented) and those between 12-18 years of age, and free for children under 12.

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