LITTLE CLOUD'S MUSINGS — BATIK TONG TONG
Growing up in 1970’s Singapore, batik was something I saw my parents wear. Associating batik with the cheongsams that my mom wore, it was quite natural that I also created batik cheongsams when I started Tong Tong.
Since my first batik-sourcing trip to Yogyakarta in 2012, I’ve made a few more such trips to Indonesia.
However, it wasn’t until early 2022, when Tong Tong was commissioned to produce 3 outfits for the Batik Kita show, that I decided to dive deeper into the subject.
I realized that Javanese craftsmen were like kindred spirits: they have long embraced and integrated Indian trade cloths and Chinese motifs (two of my favourite subjects) into their batik creations!
I also learned to understand and appreciate even classical Javanese brown batik soga that I used to shun because ‘they don’t look good on my sallow yellow skin.’ So now, I see batik as a precious inheritance unique to our part of the world.
If I can make it relevant and accessible in our modern life, perhaps the next generation might fondly remember it as something familiar that they saw and grew up with too!