The 5th Solo Batik Carnival: Transforming a cloth into a piece of art

Tuesday, 3 July 2012 | 2105

The royal city of Solo came alive with grand festivity as the annual fiesta of the 5th Solo Batik Carnival 2012 took place on 30 June 2012. Celebrating the splendors of Indonesian authentic traditional art on textile, the event featured some of the best innovative works presented by Solo’s finest batik artisans.  The 5th Solo Batik Carnival turned the major streets of Solo into a massive runway for hundreds of “models” in a colossal fashion show. 

Known as a center of the Indonesian renowned batik designs, Solo is where batik is more than just for fashion wear since it is a deeply rooted tradition that dates back to the times of the ancient kings.    

The 5th Solo Batik Carnival kicked off inside the R.Maladi Stadium with the appearance of a young couple in bright red costume who greeted the audience. As the lights dimmed, the melodious sounds of the traditional Javanese gamelan slowly began to be heard. The spotlight subsequently turned to two giant screens which projected the transformation of a single piece of plain white fabric into many beautiful batik patterns.

A colossal dance performance featuring hundreds of dancers quickly followed. The dance expressed the significance of creative and innovative processes in producing batik masterpieces that can be used in haute couture fashions, wall paintings, to accessories or home furnishings.  If formerly, batik cloths were used chiefly as traditional wear or at ritual ceremonies, at present through modernization, batik has undergone a metamorphosis into countless usages. Today the young generation uses batik patterns  on shoes, jackets, jeans, or even on cars and others, to name a few .

The 5Th Solo Batik Carnival went way beyond the typical daily fashions as various unique shapes and colors of creative and innovative batik fashion artwork paraded on the tracks inside the stadium.

Present in the event were representatives from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Poppy Savitri and representative from the Ministry of Trade Dody Edward. The Carnival itself was organized by the Solo Batik Carnival Foundation in cooperation with the Government of Solo

Among some othe features of the event were a Batik Exhibition and Exploration which took place at the R.Maladi Stadium from 08.00 to 20.00 Western Indonesia Time, Indoor Performances which started from 19.00. The main highlight was the Fashion Carnival on the Street which started from the front of the Stadium, crossing the Slamet Riyadi Street, ending at the City Hall. According to the Head of the Committee, Quintanova, this year’s programs was slightly different from the previous year which only featured a carnival on the street. This year, spectators could enjoy the full show inside the stadium for an entrance fee ranging from IDR25,000 to IDR200,000.

In her recorded video speech for the 5th Solo Batik Carnival, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu expressed that Batik has evolved into so many creative forms and contemporary arts,  and the Solo Batik Carnival annual event is the perfect media to display it. She further added that Solo Batik Carnival has become a major attraction specific to Solo and that Solo has become a creative city where creative industries flourish.

Meanwhile, outside the stadium and along the Slamet Riyadi Street crowds grew larger and larger as the night went on. The enthusiasm was high, as men and women, young and old flocked to the area to witness this special occasion that is held only once a year.

At exactly 21.00 Western ndonesia Time, the fashion Carnival started after the official release by the chairman of the Solo Batik Carnival Foundation, Agus Totok Srihanto accompanied by Mrs. Poppy Savitri and the representative of the Ministy of Trade. Two royal chariots led the parade escorted by a company of teenagers in traditional Surakarta Palace soldiers’ uniforms. Unique and spectacular batik fashion arts followed behind this first entourage.

The Fashion featured by participants revealed the Meta sequences of every group. The first group presented the basic round compositions, the second group displayed coned-shaped, the 3rd group came with multi-lined compositions, the 4th group showed children collections, and the 5th group chose the basic forms of animals and flowers.

Among those who paraded in the carnival were Miss Indonesia 2011 Maria Selena, Miss Environment 2011 Liza Elly, and Miss Tourism 2011, Andi Natassa.  

The carnival continued until the clock approached midnight. The local Solo people were not the only ones seen, but spectators also came from other cities, and even other countries. Hotels and inns were reportedly fully booked days before the event. The event also attracted journalist from the different media, as well as photographers from all over the country.

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