Tag Archives: Ornaments

BATIK PATTERN MEANINGS – THE PRODIGY NEW MUSIC VIDEO

Kawung

In my work you will often find some returning patterns and shapes on the background. Because I always get inspired by the patterns you can find on the traditional clothing & fabrics from Indonesia and also because they match very well with the other ornaments or images I use, I love to use them in my work.

Those patterns on the fabrics are made by a special dyeing technique called Batik. What many people might not know is that those patterns are not just random patterns, but that they have a much deeper meaning behind them. And that some patterns can only be found in specific areas of Indonesia. Many Indonesian batik patterns are symbolic. For example infants that are carried in batik slings decorated with symbols designed to bring the child luck, and certain batik designs are reserved for brides and bridegrooms, as well as their families. Some designs are reserved for royalties, and even banned to be worn by common people. Even a person’s rank can be determined by the pattern of the batik he or she wears.

Some of the traditional batiks show patterns mixed with images from for example butterflies, birds and other animals. In the end of 16th century, the majority of the Islands in the region of Java had adopted Islamic faith. This change strongly influenced Javanese textile designs as Islam forbids the depiction of humans and animals. This prohibition brought about a variety of stylized and modified ornaments as symbols, such as flowers and geometric patterns, known as Ceplok. The Ceplok patterns were the way in which batik makers attempted to get around the prohibition, creating simple elements which represented animals and people in a non-realistic form.

BATIK KAWUNG

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For example this Batik Kawung, that I used as an inspiration for the tattoo I made shown above. Batik Kawung is one of the oldest batik motifs and is worn by the king and the family. Known in Java since the 13th century, and appears on Hindu temple walls such as the Prambanan. The Kawung pattern symbolizes justice and power.

Batik Kawung pattern has a meaning; symbolizing the hope for human beings that they will always remember their origins. This pattern consists of four circle focused on a point means a King that is assisted by his servants. Actually ‘Kawung’ or ‘Kolang kaling’ is also a name of Palm fruit (Areca Palm blossom) that Indonesian people love to eat.

Part of the Ceplok (circle) family of designs, the Kawung can be arranged as intersecting circles in some of its variations, making dynamic repeated patterns.

 

PARANG RUSAK

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Another example is Batik Parang Rusak. Parang means weapon, literally defective big knife (like a sword). It symbolizes power and strength. Batik with a Parang Rusak pattern is originally worn exclusively by knights and people of authority, this particular batik motif must be processed with serenity and patience. If a mistake is made during the process, it is believed that its magical power will disappear. It’s a traditional batik pattern from a special district of Yogyakarta. The curved lines of a Parang motif portray waves, symbolizing the center of nature’s powers and referring to the king and his powers. There are even more variations of Parang Rusak patterns, such as Parang Rusak Barong, Parang Kusuma, Parang Klitik, Parang Klitik Mentik, etc.

Parang

 

Tattoos all done @ 25 to Life Tattoos in Rotterdam.

 

 

 

NEW MUSIC VIDEO CLIP OF THE PRODIGY – GET YOUR FIGHT ON

How nice it is when one of you’re old customers is texting you telling that you have to check out the new video clip of The Prodigy because the tattoos you made on them are in there. Great! Thanks a lot guys :)

 

– Ade Itameda

 

 

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THAI NAGA HALF SLEEVE

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Nāga themed half sleeve on left arm. 

Garuda themed half sleeve on right arm.

This is the result of a great project about the ancient characters Garuda & Naga. Showing above is the left arm with the Naga theme. The right arm is posted on this blog before and has a Garuda theme. This was a quite challenging project for me because I never drew a dragon before in my life. This is my first dragon, sounds weird, but it’s true. We choose to use the Thai dragon called Naga and surrounded it with Thai ornaments based on traditional Thai carvings. The customer wanted to have a contrast between the left arm and the right arm. To learn more about the Thai dragons I had to find some books telling me a little bit more of the stories behind these ancient characters. I found out these stories are incredibly complicated. Both of these characters appear in as well Buddhism and Hinduism mythology. I focussed on the Buddism interpetation of the Garuda (Even the stories about Garuda of Hinduism & Buddhism have similarities). I’m always amazed about the Thai ornaments and carvings found on temples and houses. Great piece to work on! More of this!

– Ade Itameda

A little bit more about Garuda & Nāga:

In Buddhist mythology, the Garuda are enormous predatory birds with intelligence and social organization. Another name for the Garuda is Suparṇa which means “well-winged, having good wings”. Like the Nāga, they combine the characteristics of animals and divine beings. They don’t know the exact size of the Garuda, but they say that his wings have a span of many ‘miles’ wide. They also say that when a Garuda’s wings flap, they create hurricane-like winds that darken the sky and blow down houses. A human being is so small compared to a Garuda that a man can hide in the plumage of one without being noticed. They are also capable of tearing up entire banyan trees from their roots and carrying them off. They also have the ability to grow large or small, and to appear and disappear at will. The Garuda have kings and cities and at least some of them have the magical power of changing into human form when they wish to have dealings with people.

The Garuda are enemies to the Nāga, a race of intelligent serpent or dragon-like beings, whom they hunt. The Garuda at one time caught the Nāga by seizing them by their heads; but the Nāga learned that by swallowing large stones, they could make themselves too heavy to be carried by the Garuda, wearing them out and killing them from exhaustion. The Buddhist Nāga generally has the form of a great cobra-like snake, usually with a single head but sometimes with many. At least some of the Nāga are capable of using magic powers to transform themselves to look human just like Garuda. In Buddhist painting, the Nāga is sometimes portrayed as a human being with a snake or dragon extending over his head. They believe that Nāga live on Mount Sumeru, among the other minor deities, and in various parts of the human-inhabited earth. Some of them are live in the water, in streams or lakes and others are living in the earth, in underground caverns.

As you might know, the Mekong is one of the longest rivers in Southeast Asia. The legend of the Nāga is a strong and sacred belief held by Thai and Lao people living along this river. Many pay their respects to the river because they believe the Nāga still rule in it, and locals hold an annual sacrifice for the Nāga. Each ceremony depends on how each village earns its living from the Mekong River. For instance, through fishing or transport. Local residents believe that the Nāga can protect them from danger, so they are likely to make a sacrifice to Nāga before taking a boat trip along the Mekong River.

 

All these tattoo designs are custom made by Ade Itameda and created uniquely for each client and made by modern tattoo machines. They are based on personal ideas/symbols of his clients.  None of these designs will be re-used again. 

Copyright © Ade Itameda 2012. All rights reserved.

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ARMS

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JOEL’S SLEEVE

Click on the image for a bigger preview.

Ade finally finished the sleeve of our best friend, Joel. The sleeve consists elements like the Merkaba, Yantra, Tibetan wheel of life, Aum, and Indonesian ornaments.

Soon a small part will be added on the top of the sleeve.

Thanks to Joel for your friendship and never ending support!

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BLACK WORK

Photo by Holy Bird.

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SINTA

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She is the wife of Rama, the seventh avatāra of Vishnu in the Hindu tradition. Sinta is one of the principal characters in the Ramayana, a Hindu epic named after her husband Rama. Sinta was born in Sitamarhi (Punaura) in Bihar and soon after her birth, taken to Janakpur in present day Nepal by her father, Janaka. She is esteemed as the standard setter for wifely and womanly virtues for all Hindu women. Understood theologically in Hinduism, Sinta is an avatāra of Lakshmi.

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TATTOOS ADE

Aksara jawa lettering and flower inspired by batik ornaments

Aksara jawa:

The earliest known writing in Javanese dates from the 4th Century AD, at which time Javanese was written with the Pallava alphabet. By the 10th Century, the Kawi alphabet, which developed from Pallava, had a distinct Javanese form.

By the 17th Century, the Javanese alphabet, also known as tjarakan or carakan, had developed into its current form. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia between 1942 and 1945, the alphabet was prohibited.

For a period from the 15th Century onwards, Javanese was also written with a version of the Arabic alphabet, called pégon or gundil.

Since the Dutch introduced the Latin alphabet to Indonesia in the 19th Century, the Javanese alphabet has gradually been supplanted. Today it is used almost exclusively by scholars and for decoration. Those who can read and write it are held in high esteem.

  • Javanese is a syllabic alphabet – each letter has an inherent vowel /a/. Other vowels can be indicated using a variety of diacritics which appear above, below, in front of or after the main letter.
  • Each consonants has two forms: the aksara form is used at the beginning of a syllable, while the pasangan form, which usually appears below the aksara form, is used for the second consonant of a consonant cluster and mutes the vowel of the aksara.
  • There are a number of special letters called aksara murda or aksara gedhe (great or important letters) which are used for honorific purposes, such as to write the names of respected people.
  • The order of the consonants makes the following saying, “Hana caraka, data sawala padha jayanya, maga bathanga” which means “There were (two) emissaries, they began to fight, their valor was equal, they both fell dead”

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ORANG GILA

Jakarta has many people who the society considers as ‘orang gila’.

Which literary means: people who suffer any of various disorders in which a person’s thoughts, emotions, or behaviour are so abnormal as to cause suffering to himself, herself, or other people.

These people who are mostly homeless, walking on the streets, with dirty clothes, sometimes begging for money, sometimes just wandering around.

For example ‘Kancut’ (We call him Kancut, because he looks exactly like our friend) He’s an young man, I guess around 30 years old, who always walks around our tattooshop. Sometimes he’s walking around in the park close to the shop, sometimes he’s sleeping in the portal of the house, the cockroaches are his friends. He has dark, half long, curly hair and deep lying eyes, he’s always wearing the same dirty clothes. Always the same emotion on his face. That empty look. I never heard him say any word. I never saw him smile. He’s disconnected from this world. We don’t know much about him.

Then we have an middle aged lady who’s always picking up the trash with a wooden cart. She owns 3 dogs. Mostly her white dog is sleeping on the piles of trash on the wooden cart. I never saw a dog look so happy. She’s taking good care of them. She looks happy, she’s always busy.  Walking around on the crowded streets, collecting the trash people threw away. People told me she was a rich, wealthy lady in the past.

Next to the road, close to Ade’s home, you have an old man dressed like a hippie. He was always wearing the same clothes, but recently he is wearing a new combination. A brown, jacket, with a flower pattern. He looks almost fashionable. He’s always sitting on a pile of stones next to the road, watching people, mumbling. I see confusion in his eyes. Like he’s trying to understand the things around him, but like he can not grab it. Every time when we’re crossing him with the motorbike, I try to catch his eye. He’s never looking at me straight. It’s like he looks straight through me. Sometimes he’s writing sentences about politics, dates, and drawing random ornaments with chalk on the pavement. Letter combinations, numbers. It looks like a secret writing. Codes and prophecy’s. What they mean? Nobody knows, I think only he knows.

It fascinates me, those people. It’s hard to find out who these people are, because most people here ignore them. They are scared that they will attack them or steal from them. It’s almost like they are monsters. Day in day out I see them. And I wonder what they think? What do they believe? What are their dreams? What is their story? How did they end up on the streets? It looks like they are not bothered by anything around them. It almost looks like they are fine with this life, this life without future perspective. A life we’re everything is not sure. They look like they blocked everything around them. We consider them as mental, but maybe if we really think about it, can’t we understand it a little bit?

The constant flashing of motorcycles besides you, the noise, the dirt, the dust, the traffic. For those who ever been to Jakarta will understand. There’s never a moment that there’s no one around you. This city never sleeps. Day and night, there’s people on the street, selling food, meeting each other, etc. And then the thousands of advertisements on the side of the road, filling your head with useless information. The constant warmth. The big clouds of pollution above you, the big social pressure.

This city can drive people crazy.

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