Sjamsidar Isa among some of her favorite textiles. (JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

Ikon, Sjamsidar Isa's Portrayal of Love for the Nation and It's Textiles


JANUARY 26, 2016

Jakarta. Sjamsidar Isa Tjammy, president of the Indonesia Fashion Designers Council and textile collector, celebrated her 70th birthday among friends, colleagues and avid fans of Indonesian traditional textiles in A Qubicle Center building in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, on Monday.

In the exhibition hall of the office building, the textile collector presented the "Ikon" ("Icon") collection, showcasing some of the most valuable items in her collection.

"On my 70th birthday, I want to share my collection to a lot of people, especially Indonesia's young generation," Tjammy said. "I want them to learn to appreciate and love Indonesia's traditional textiles."

Tjammy began collection Indonesian traditional textiles after returning to Jakarta in 1973 after studying textile design in Germany. She also inherited a number of rare and precious textile pieces from her own mother and grandmother.

To date, the textile lover has over 500 pieces of handmade batik and tenun (handwoven cloths) from all over Indonesia in her collection.

Senior Indonesian fashion designer and textile collector, Didi Budiardjo, was appointed curator for the exhibition.

"Didi has a strong passion for Indonesian textiles," said Tjammy. "And he's also a textile collector himself."

The curator went through Tjammy's textiles and chose 70 of the rarest unique and historical pieces to be featured in the exhibition.

"Ikon is a portrayal of Tjammy's love for the nation," Didi said. "And we want to share it to as many people as possible."

Among the most valuable pieces in the exhibition is the Ikat Ganda (double tie-dye) piece from Tenganan village, east of Bali, which the IPMI president bought for Rp 1 million ($72) 25 years ago.

The antique piece has a beautiful color combination of hazel, crimson and taupe and a star-like motif.

"Reputedly, the crimson color of the textile was originally derived from the blood of fallen warriors in the village," she said with a smile.

Another iconic piece in the exhibition is a scarlet batik with Terang Bulan (Full Moon) motif made by batik maestro Oey Soe Tjoe in Pekalongan, Central Java, in 1973.

"This beautiful piece only cost Rp 90,000 at that time," said Tjammy. "And the process of making it was so difficult that it could only be completed in nine months. So, I paid it in Rp 10,000 instalment each month for nine months."

Songket pieces from Palembang, South Sumatra, dating back 100 years, can also be found in the exhibition. Some of these Songkets are made with real gold threads imported from China.

"Ibu Tjammy's collection represents the wealth of creativity and craftsmanship of the nation," Didi said "I believe, we all can learn something from it."

The exhibition is open at 'A Qubicle Center', Jl. Senopati no. 79, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm, and on Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm. The exhibition is closed on Sundays. The exhibition is free of charge.