Lusi Setyo Wulandari
Diponegoro University, Indonesia

Batik has been progressing ever since the Indonesian independence and it continues to develop. The most important development of the second half of the 20th century was its incorporation in the local fashion industry which had an impact on the region’s textile industry. Batik Semarang is one of Indonesia’s national heritage, which once had disappeared in Japan colonialism era. In 2006, the city government of Semarang started to redevelop Semarang Batik as a regional identity of Semarang, by conducting a preservation program of Semarang Batik. This research’s objective is to identify and analyze qualitatively by having the method of field observations and depth interview about Semarang Batik which focused on the study on the core values meaning and relational of its motifs aspects as the local identity. The result of this research shows that Semarang Batik has its natural and realist character which is owned by northern coastal of Javanese. These coastal character shows about the open-minded, free and more expressive people than others. To the philosophy of life symbolized by Semarang Batik, it has ritualistic significance. Particular designs have traditionally been associated with traditional festivals and specific religious ceremonies. These motifs often represent religious or mystical symbols related to the early beliefs of the Javanese people and then later to Hinduism. At the beginning, its motifs was dominated by animal objects. The other objects like flowers, trees, twinning plants, leaves buds, butterflies, insects and geometric forms are rich in symbolic meaning. These motives of Semarang Batik represent simple, natural objects that are important to the lives of Javanese, such as the leaves of the ‘asem’ tree. Batik Semarang has been influenced by European, Arabian, Chinese and Indian cultures, which have colorful designs and motifs of animals and flowers. It has different characteristic such as the Semarang cities’ icons; Tugu Muda Kiniteran Sulur, Asem Arang, Lawang Sewu, Kawung Semawis, Watu Gong, etc. Although the production of its is not so big, the interesting point is on the freedom in designing the motifs and the bright reddish orange colors. The future creative Batik Semarang development has two important dimensions complement each other. It is recognized as a cultural richness, local identity and as a local industrial wealth. Both dimensions are important as the basic to determine the direction of its future development, without cultural value batik of Semarang would lost its genuine soul.

Keywords: cultural identity, motifs, Semarang batik, core value

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