Batik reinterpreted with digital technology

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jul 6, 2016 - 14:40
  • Updated : Jul 6, 2016 - 14:40

An unusual exhibition of batik-meets-digital was held June 30 at the Art and Technology Expression Center, Seoul Institute of the Arts in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province.

“Batik: Accumulation of Time – Meeting the soul of Indonesia’s traditional arts,” explored the textile design method of Batik, which dates back to the 5th century. It is still popular in its home country, and is a UNESCO-designated cultural heritage. 

A light performance with batik images

SIA, a prominent arts college that strives to make traditional art come alive for present day audiences, fused batik with projection image-making, interactive motion sensing technology and DJ performance to make a kaleidoscopic experience that invited viewers to appreciate batik from a distinct Korean viewpoint.

“When traditional art is left only in its original form, it is less likely to resonate with contemporary global audiences,” said SIA president Yoo Duk-hyung. “Today’s exhibition is significant in that the experience of viewing the time-honored art of batik is enhanced into a different dimension through connecting and converging with state-of-the-art technologies, pushing boundaries toward creation of a new form art.

“I think it’s important for artists to crumble walls between genres through the process of reinterpretation and recreation that leads to innovation in the arts. We strive to provide such an environment.”

An image projection performance

The exhibition was a cooperative effort between SIA and Indonesian & Korean Culture Study Association. The batik pieces were from the collection of Sakong Kyung, the director of the association.

“Batik is a very slow, painstaking art that has endured centuries. It gives us food for thought in today’s Korean context where ‘quickly quickly’ is an everyday word. This exhibition that reinterprets the old to create something new is so inspiring and has provided a solution for my fear that traditional arts that enrich our life will soon disappear,” Sakong said.

By Cecily Kwon (cecilykwon@yahoo.co.kr)

Korea Herald contributor