“The Wax on Our Fingers” is a socio- relational visual arts project that celebrates the lives and hands behind batik, a craft that is regarded as Indonesia’s most prided intangible heritage. Artists Mintio & Kabul worked with the batik makers from the Javanese village of Kebon Indah to create unique ‘self-portraits’ combining the realism of photography together with the decorative and symbolic nature of batik motifs. Photographic portraits of the batik-makers are first printed onto batik cloth with the cyanotype technique (sun prints), with their silhouettes penciled onto the fabric. The women then respond to their own image by making batik patterns on them.
The amalgam of photography and batik is the outcome of this process and art-making journey with these women. The artists, through this project, acknowledge the role of women as culture-makers in the Indonesian society and explore their relationships with their families, the village society and their craft.