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2004/147/2 Shawl, selendang (shoulder cloth), handwoven silk with alternate weave and embroidery, batik, Bin House, Java (possibly Cirebon), Indonesia, 2001. Click to enlarge.

Selendang (shoulder cloth) from Java

Made in Cirebon, Indonesia, 2001.

Bin House is a batik design house established by Josephine Komara and Yusman Siswandi, first in Jakarta in about 1978 and more recently with shops, offices and exhibition spaces in Indonesia, Singapore, particularly Japan and also the Netherlands. Using traditional design and a cottage-industry approach, it caters to an exclusive and lucrative domestic and tourist market, particularly Japanese customers. It aims to use traditional designs and reinvigorate them.

Batik is a method of dyeing fabr...


Object No.


Object Statement

Shawl, selendang (shoulder cloth), handwoven silk with alternate weave and embroidery, batik, Bin House, Java (possibly Cirebon), Indonesia, 2001

Physical Description

Shawl, selendang (shoulder cloth), handwoven silk with alternate weave and embroidery, batik, Bin House, Java (possibly Cirebon), Indonesia, 2001.

This selendang or shawl is of silk gauze with width bands. It is of batik, with some supplementary wefts and embroidery. It has a black tied fringe and the edges are scalloped. It may be machine-embroidered. It is predominantly green with yellow, indigo and white. It has a floral pattern and a patchwork pattern in the middle.


No marks.



91 mm



This was possibly made in a workshop in Cirebon, a coastal town of Java.


Cirebon, Indonesia 2001



These pieces were donated to the Powerhouse Museum, by Josephine Komara through the offices of Robyn Maxwell, currently Senior curator, Asian Art, at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra and Senior lecturer in art history at the Australian National University. Negotiations about commissioning some Batik clothing from Bin House had been suggested earlier than this, but nothing eventuated. In an email dated 16 January 2002 from Robyn Maxwell to Melanie Eastburn at the Powerhouse Museum, Robyn Maxwell writes: 'Perhaps a year, maybe more, ago one of them visited Bin House, one of Indonesia's leading textile design companies - small but very innovative in terms of weaving and dyeing, revivals of and rethinking uses of lost or very old techniques ... When I was in Jakarta before Christmas and called in, Bin and Ronnie were very keen to fulfil a promise Bin had made to give one of her textiles to the Powerhouse Museum ... had to sit around for hours drinking the best lemon tea I have ever had and looking through possible gifts from the current range. You can imagine how difficult that was - in their beautiful antique filled air conditioned old house cum showroom! We decided on one which combines techniques in a youthful sort of style.'

More research is needed for this acquisition, before it can be completed. Attempts to contact both Bin House and Robyn Maxwell for more information have proved unsuccessful. (These can be found in the file.)


Credit Line

Gift of Josephine Komara, Bin House, Indonesia, 2004

Acquisition Date

28 October 2004

Cite this Object


Selendang (shoulder cloth) from Java 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 April 2019, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Selendang (shoulder cloth) from Java |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=24 April 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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