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Heritage by the Yard and Meter

Museum Kain – a Museum Dedicated to Indonesia’s Rich Textile Tradition Opens in Bali

(11/22/2013) On Wednesday, November 20, 2013 a simple ceremony marked the opening of the Museum Kain or Cloth Museum located on the top floor of the Kuta Beachwalk Shopping Center.

The brainchild of Indonesian traditional textile doyen Josephine “Obin” Komara and her late husband, Roni Siswandi, the Museum Kain mixes “high-tech” with one of Indonesia’s oldest cultural traditions of cloth production and weaving. Set is a lavishly modernistic museum, a priceless collection of textiles are presented in modern museum settings accompanied by touch screen computer displays explaining each exhibit.

Obin is a tireless promoter of threatened textile traditions in Indonesia and operates a chain of chic shops featuring high-end modern textile condition.

Quoted in The Jakarta Post, Obin spoke at the opening of the museum saying: "What we are trying to do today, through this museum, is to remember the past, to cherish the present and to prepare the future. This museum should be a place where our youngsters learn about the beautiful works created and passed on by their ancestors and at the same time be inspired to create their own.”

Speaking of her late husband, Roni Siswandi, who died earlier this year in the midst of preparing for the Museum's opening, Obin added: “It was his dream to build me a museum. When he left I was so heartbroken that I decided to stop the project. But then my son stepped up and took to the reins. So, this museum was Roni’s dream and Elang’s achievement.”

At the close of a ceremony containing both Javanese and Chinese cultural elements, Roni’s surviving older brother led invited guests through the museum holding a kerosene lamp to light the way. The museum resembles a cocoon-like labyrinth underlining the theme of metamorphosis much embraced by Roni Siswandi.

The museum is home to sixty pieces of priceless batiks, part of a 600-piece collection owned by Obin who will regularly rotate the collection shared via the museum.

A museum shop forms an annex to the Museum where piece of textile are on sale to the public.

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R.I.P. Roni Siswandi 1953-2013

Bin House