Indonesia’s cultural and ethnic diversity is renowned throughout Asia, but the arts (dance, painting, fashion etc.) that represent these cultures are at risk of suffering from lack of popularity, especially amongst younger Indonesians who are critical to its survival. How might technology help traditional arts survive, and flourish, in the modern world?
The founders of Batik Fractal—Nancy Margried, Muhamad Lukman and Yun Hariadi—developed an approach to batik (Indonesia’s iconic patterned cloth) that attempts to merge the traditional and the new and ensure the ongoing viability of traditional batik processing throughout Indonesia.
They created software that employs mathematical formulas to design batik patterns in contemporary, modern styles and applies these patterns to fabrics using a traditional process. Online users, from across the country, not only develop their own patterns but they’re able to apply those patterns to clothing that they can then purchase.
The Internet introduces modernity and scale to an art form that is normally seen as too traditional and unfashionable. In fact the benefits of Batik Fractal reflect two of the great strengths of the Internet: it is accessible anywhere, and it allows individuals to express themselves and share that expression.
Batik Fractal and other organizations and individuals committed to preserving, modernizing and promoting culture are examples of Indonesian creativity and forward thinking allied to the transformative power of the Internet in the space of culture.