Malaysian Batik gets an Argentinian flavour at International Charity Bazaar

Last update: 20/11/2019

Exclusive report by V. Sankara Subramaniam

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20  -- Think Malaysian Batik, the first thing that comes to our mind is their colourful motifs, usually leaves and flowers creatively drawn and set. 

The traditional textile art has well received international recognition but there is still more potential, says an Argentinian designer who has taken to the art of making the traditional Malaysian Batik with an Argentinian twist.

“I personally believe Batik has a big chance of setting world fashion trends, whereby the fabric’s intricate patterns have the strength to draw global interest.

“I regard Malaysia as my kampung (village) and want to give back to the society through this unique form of art,” said Batik designer from Argentina, Maureen Clarke, 41.

She said this to Bernama International News Service when met during the International Charity Bazaar 2019 organised by the Association of Spouses of Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Malaysia (Sohom).

A former stewardess with Malaysia Airlines, Clarke who showcased her Batik products at the charity event, said she used distinctive motifs for her Batik designs where each piece is as unique as an ancient, delicately hand-drawn Batik with the use of a Tjanting on luxurious natural fibre fabrics.

“Tjanting is a penlike tool used in batik for applying melted wax to fabric in order to draw pictures,” said Clarke who started to discover the uniqueness of Batik culture when she came to Kuala Lumpur to seek a job in 2005.

Clarke, who designs hand-made Batik for both men and women, regards two Batik masters - Azizi Hassan and Eddie Yap -  as her mentors. She said both had taught her extensively on the techniques of the art and to sharpen her creative skills on Batik designs. 

She added that the Latin Women’s Association of Malaysia, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has been also supportive in promoting the Batik culture abroad especially South America.

Meanwhile, Sohom president, Triana Nechytaylo, said the one-day bazaar saw the participation of some 47 diplomatic missions in Malaysia with the sales of their products at the bazaar, presentation of their arts and crafts at the cultural displays as well as with participation in the cultural shows.

“We are targeting to raise at least RM200,000 from this event that will go for charity,” said the wife of Ukraine Ambassador to Malaysia, Olexander Nechytaylo.