[Detail: Indonesian cotton altar cloth, 1910-1920, from the North Coast of Java. Lent to the Asian by Joan and M. Glenn Vinson, Jr.]
First, a quick reminder: Batik: Spectacular Textiles of Java continues on view at SF's Asian Art Museum through May 5.
[Another batik detail from the Asian.]
A small exhibition with big impact, Batik looks at sixteen cloths decorated using molten wax resist techniques -- the type of patterning that's so closely associated with Indonesia and frequently done by women working at home. Some of their most detailed designs may represent a year's worth of effort, say curators. Motifs including auspicious animals, mythical birds and imperial symbols are evidence of a lot of cross-cultural pollination. (Over centuries, varied groups have crossed paths in Java, specifically.)
Just as Batik winds down, a new show exploring mythical creatures and other allegorical figures will open over at the de Young. From the Exotic to the Mystical: Textile Treasures from the Permanent Collection debuts May 4. Expect to see European textiles encompassing English, Spanish, and French pieces that demonstrate a range of techniques from embroidery to lace-making.