Traditional Art - Batik

Batik

Batik / Wax Printing

Batik is a traditional Chinese folk art that combines painting and dyeing. It is made by dipping a specially designed knife into melted wax and using it to paint various patterns on pieces of white cloth..The wax stays on the cloth and often cracks after it hardens. The cloth is then dyed and the dyes seep into the cracks and make fine lines.

When the wax is boiled away, beautiful patterns appear on the cloth. Batik cloth can be made into garments, scarves, bags, table-cloths, bedspreads, curtains, and other decorative items.

Among the Miao nationality, a minority ethnic group in Southwest China, young girls have to learn how to weave, embroider, and make batik. Custom requires that they make their own garments, from wedding dresses to funeral shrouds. Like all other Miao girls, Yang Jinxiu, a native of Anshun in Guizhou, learned the skill of making batik when she was a little girl. At twenty she had already formed her own style, which was characterized by the combination of both realism and romanticism. In 1981, she was chosen by the China Association for Science and Technology to exhibit her art of batik-making at an exhibition abroad. Later she took the exhibition to Canada, in1982, and the United States, in 1984. Her works were praised as "gems of ancient folk art" and "flowers of legendary oriental art." In 1986, she went to Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou Province, and established a batik handicraft mill which expanded a year later into the Yang Jinxiu Batik Joint Corporation. Yang is now still the manager and chief designer. The corporation exports batik goods to a number of foreign countries including the United States, Canada, France, Austria, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, and Singapore.

Revised June 13, 2011