Jakarta. Kartini Muljadi, a former lawyer and prolific businesswoman, celebrated her 87th birthday with the launch of her first book at Gran Mahakam Hotel in South Jakarta on Wednesday (17/05).
Having been raised by her grandmother, who loved and appreciated art, Kartini later developed an interest in collecting batik because it reminded her of her late grandmother.
"My mother passed away when I was young and my grandmother took care of me instead. She loved batik too and that's also the reason I am interested in collecting it" said Kartini, who was a senior lawyer before establishing Tempo Scan Pacific, a major listed pharmaceutical and consumer goods company.
The book, "Sepilihan Koleksi Batik Kartini Muljadi" ("A Selection of Kartini Muljadi's Batik Collection"), contains part of her batik collection as well as a record of her life journey and her love of the traditional textile.
Her book also contains detail of the batik-making process and interesting reviews about batik patterns, origins and elements.
"Batik is a layered process and it takes days, months and years to make. Because of that complicated process, I want to show it in my book so people can learn to appreciate it," she said.
Although books about batik can be found in almost every bookstore, Kartini said hers is different.
"This book provides detail of the batik-making process, from a piece of thread into a fabric," she said.
To encourage younger generations to learn more about batik, Kartini donated copies of her book to the faculty of humanities at the University of Indonesia and to the Textile Museum in Central Jakarta. She also plans to make an electronic version of her book available.
"I want to create a simple and convenient way for younger generations to read the book. I hope they can continue to promote batik to a wider audience," Kartini said.