Fiber Face: Cross-Cultural Batik Collaborations, Indonesia 2008

Fiber Face: Cross-Cultural Batik Collaborations, Indonesia 2008



Document Type




"In essence our world cultures are one and have arisen from the strength of the mind and the spirit of humankind and are based on the philosophies and cosmologies that are their roots. Ancient traditional cultures give evidence of this process and are roadmaps for the future." —Nia Fliam and Agus Ismoyo Isnugroho This team of artists has been working across visible and invisible boundaries since 1985 when they established their fine-art batik studio, Brahma Tirta Sari, in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia. Nia, an American educated at Pratt Institute of New York, and Ismoyo, educated in an Indonesian industrial academy, translate the name of their studio to mean "creativity as the source of all knowledge."[1] In 2005 they created a "culture house," Babaran Segaragunung, to support their exploration of traditional cultures. We are very proud to have Nia and Ismoyo as artists-in-residence at Western Michigan University during the 2007-2008 school year—funded by the Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence program, the Haenicke Institute for Global Education, and the Frostic School of Art. Nia and Ismoyo are both artists and cultural explorers. Their art expresses their deep understanding of traditional Indonesian batik—once a royal art form intertwined with ancient philosophies about life and creative process. Their contemporary fine art textiles are intricate and time intensive. They have exhibited in many prestigious exhibitions around the world, and worked with many distinguished curators. Since 1994 they have researched, taught, and worked in collaboration with Australian Aboriginals, Native Americans, Indonesian street youths, and various African, Asian and Australian artists.

[1] Brahma, is the Hindu world creator deity and as the chief priest is the best source of knowledge, Tirta is the name of a sacred water source, and Sari, translates as essence.

*from WMU Frostic School of Art website.



Publication Date



Babaran Segaragunung


Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Batik, Exhibitions, Textile crafts


Art and Design


Mary-Louise Totton is curator.

Citation for published book

Ismoyo, A., Fliam, N., & Totton, M.-L. (2008). Fiber face: Cross-cultural batik collaborations, Indonesia 2008. Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Babaran Segaragunung.

Fiber Face: Cross-Cultural Batik Collaborations, Indonesia 2008