The interiors of the Singaraja rooms at InterContinental Bali Resort are currently undergoing a comprehensive redesign programme with features such as hand-painted wall murals inspired by motifs found on Balinese textiles and traditional batiks.
Batik – the art of decorating cloth using wax and dye – is an Indonesian art form and the inspiration for the full-wall murals in the Resort’s re-decorated guestrooms, each of which is being hand-painted by a Balinese artisan. There is nowhere in the world where batik art has been developed to such high standards as in Bali’s neighbouring island of Java, and it is fitting therefore that some of the muted wall patterns were influenced by the ‘parang’, a Javanese batik design that was once used exclusively by the royal courts of Central Java. This famous motif comprises slanting rows of thick knife-like segments running in parallel diagonal bands, some of which contain another design element, a line of lozenge-shaped motifs called ‘mlinjon’. Parang is traditionally dyed ‘soga’ brown, a colour that ranges from pale yellow to dark chocolate, using a pigment that comes from the bark of the soga or yellow flame tree, a native of Southeast Asia. In fact, one of the reasons why Java became famous for batik is because all of the raw materials for the process have always been readily available – cotton and beeswax and the many plants from which the natural dyes are made. There are many variations of the basic striped pattern of the parang, with more than 40 parang designs recorded. It also appears in media other than batik, including woodcarving as well as ornamentation on gamelan musical instruments.
The hand-painted wall murals in the Resort’s Singaraja rooms feature a flower motif, which was found on the border of a ‘perada’ or ‘prada’ textile produced in North Bali’s Singaraja region. This textile technique originally involved the application of silver or gold leaf in an organic, floral pattern over a batik base; nowadays the more affordable option of bronze dust is often used instead. Because the perada textile was initially brought to Java by Indian traders, and then later brought to Bali, stylised Hindu motifs – such as sacred lotus blossoms, as well as temple relief designs and ancient woodwork patterns – were used to decorate the borders.
InterContinental Bali Resort is proud to be showcasing these historic patterns on the walls of the upgraded guestrooms.