Written in Wax: Batik as Cultural Encounter
Batik, or wax resist textile patterning, is a diffusion story fashioned by settlement, trade, and cultural exchange across Asia to Turkestan to Europe to Africa. While batiks dating from the fifth-sixth centuries CE have been discovered in Egypt and China, its origins may be much earlier. Its traditional practice is rich with symbolism, ritual, and meaning, with local makers introducing innovations and adapting motifs over centuries. Jean Kares takes a cross-cultural approach in an exploration of this fascinating and complex art form.
Jean Kares is an independent scholar, instructor, writer, artist and curator. She holds an MFA in Art History from UBC, specializing in China, and currently teaches topics in Asian art history and textile history for Simon Fraser University Continuing Studies. In 2015, she curated the exhibition “Interwoven Stories: Textiles, Costumes, Cultures” for the Chinese Cultural Centre.