IKAT 2.0: Penang Edition’s Immersive East Coast Batik Experience

IKAT 2.0: Penang Edition's Immersive East Coast Batik Experience

The Penang Edition of IKAT 2.0, an immersive-driven platform dedicated to preserving Malaysian textile heritage, will officially open its doors to the public tomorrow.

Centred on the theme of “Tapestry of Tradition,” the IKAT 2.0 Penang Edition offers Northern region audiences a unique opportunity to experience the intricate beauty of Malaysian East Coast Batik, from motifs to techniques and artisanal creation of textiles, all set against the backdrop of the Loft29, George Town, on April 27th—28th, 2024.

Spearheaded by creative studio EDT and presented by Yayasan Hasanah, IKAT, short for Immersive Knowledge and Textile, seeks to reinvigorate public engagement and deepen Malaysians’ appreciation for heritage textiles through immersive experiences, technology and strategic collaborations with artisans, new media artists, educational institutions and subject matter experts.

Batik being made the traditional way by hand

Beginning its journey in Kuala Lumpur in January 2024, IKAT 2.0 is a series of pop-up experiential hubs scheduled to tour Malaysia, with stops in Penang in April 2024, Terengganu in July 2024 and concluding with a final showcase in Sarawak in October 2024. Each instalment showcases a unique theme, with different heritage textiles, artisans, and curators.

“We are incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from experts in the textiles, crafts, arts, fashion and education sectors. Their collective expertise, combined with the valuable feedback received during the KL Edition, has enabled us to tailor an immersive learning experience that will resonate deeply with the Penang community.

As we commence our journey through the beautiful tapestry of East Coast Batik with friends from the north, together, we hope to ignite fresh perspectives and forge even deeper connections with the treasures of our unique culture,” said Mahesh Naiker, Project Coordinator of IKAT.

“Malaysia’s cultural stories are brimming with diversity and depth, yet often remain untold. With IKAT, we can harness the power of technology to unveil the richness of our heritage in an engaging manner while honouring the talented artisans and true custodians behind our traditional arts and crafts,” says Khadijatul Azada, Lead-Curator of IKAT 2.0 Penang edition.

“Batik is an integral part of Malaysia’s cultural heritage, symbolising our nation’s artistic legacy passed down through generations. With IKAT 2.0: Tapestry of Tradition, we aim to inspire a sense of pride within Malaysians, nurturing a renewed bond with our cherished heritage”, Hanuni Ab Halim, Co-curator of IKAT 2.0 Penang edition.

IKAT 2.0: Tapestry of Tradition
Discover the vibrant heritage of Malaysian East Coast Batik at the IKAT 2.0 Penang edition. Taking form as a dynamic pop-up textile experiential hub, the two-day event will offer a curated selection of engaging experiences, featuring an immersive pavilion, textile showcase, motif-inspired phygital experiences, hands-on workshops conducted by Kelantan artisans, talks and a fashion show.

Under the theme “Tapestry of Tradition,” the Penang edition delves into the symbolic significance of the Five Elements—Earth, Water, Fire, Metal, and Wood—taking audiences on a cultural exploration journey to understand how these elements shape the narrative, techniques, and creation of Malaysian Batik.

The curation of IKAT 2.0: Tapestry of Tradition is jointly led by Khadijatul Azada and Hanuni Ab Halim. Khadijatul Azada, on the other hand, is a strong advocator of Malaysian cultural heritage branding and preservation as well as women empowerment where she also led the Silver Lining Project Malaysia – a community-driven initiative supported by Yayasan Hasanah committed to the preservation and revitalisation of Malaysian heritage through traditional textiles, metal crafts and performing arts.

Hanuni is a passionate tie-dye artisan and the former Chief Operating Officer of a social impact company dedicated to showcasing premium artisanal batik creations from Kelantan.

Highlights of the IKAT 2.0: Tapestry of Tradition are as follows:

The Immersive Pavilion: The 480 sq. ft immersive gallery, featuring five narrations portraying the Earth, Water, Fire, Metal and Wood, offers visitors a beautiful journey through the craftsmanship and cultural expressions of Malaysian Batik that have endured across generations.

Textile Showcase: Immerse yourself in a first-hand experience at the textile exhibition, where you can explore the timeless elegance, creativity and artistry of Batik originating from the East Coast of Malaysia. Discover thoughtfully curated booths, each focusing on an essential component of Batik creation, including stamping, natural dye and Batik drawing.

Mohammad Ghani bin Mat

Live Demonstrations of Batik Creation and Workshops by esteemed artisans Md Ghani bin Mat (above), Padil Osman, and Nawwal binti Abdul Kadir.

Md Ghani bin Mat recognised as a master artisan and Adiguru of Batik block craft, will unveil the meticulous process of crafting and moulding Batik blocks. Join Padil Osman (below), a talented Batik and watercolour artist, as he brings to life the tradition and creative essence of Batik painting through his live demonstration.

Padil Osman showcasing one of his works

In addition, visitors can learn about the ancient secrets of natural dyeing with Nawwal binti Abdul Kadir, a natural dye artist, researcher and lecturer at Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, as she showcases various plants, roots and leaves used in the dyeing process, with the opportunity to engage in colouring Batik fabric alongside her.

Talk Sessions: Engaging discussions led by Azzaha Ibrahim, an independent researcher and designer of Corak Motifs, and Nawwal binti Abdul Kadir, where they will share their insights and expertise in motifs and natural dye.

Fashion Showcase: Centred on the themes of upcycling and innovation, the fashion show will present collections designed by fashion students from Limkokwing University’s Faculty of Creative Arts and Lifestyle. Dato Tiffanee Marie Lim oversees and curates the show.

In the realm of Asian cultural exploration, IKAT 2.0 stands as a one-of-its-kind experiential event that harmoniously integrates heritage textiles with an enriching interactive experience.

The IKAT 2.0 is spearheaded by EDT, a creative studio specialising in virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality, and it was presented by Yayasan Hasanah. The IKAT 2.0 is made possible by Filamen, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Penang Art District, Loft29, WHOLE Malaysia and RUBIX Communications.

Admission to the IKAT 2.0: Tapestry of Tradition pop-up textile experiential hub is free from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. For further information about IKAT 2.0, please visit https://ikatmalaysia.com/ or follow their social platforms at IG @IKATMalaysia.

IKAT 2.0: Penang Edition's Immersive East Coast Batik Experience 3(LR) Dato Lilian Thong, Museum Director of Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Hanuni Ab Halim, Co-Curator of IKAT 2.0 Penang Edition, Khadijatul Azada, Lead Curator of IKAT 2.0 Penang.IKAT 2.0: Penang Edition's Immersive East Coast Batik Experience 4

Editorial Team

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