We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Skirt cloth (kain panjang)



Oey Kek Hwa II


No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Pekalongan Central Java Java Indonesia
    Cultural origin
    Peranakan Chinese
    Media category
    Materials used
    cotton, dyes; batik
    228.0 x 103.0 cm (irreg.)
    Signature & date

    Oey Kek Hwa II

    Gift of John Yu and George Soutter 2008
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information
    Oey Kek Hwa II

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Across Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore communities of integrated heritage are known by the Malay word peranakan (descendent). Peranankan Chinese also known as Straits Chinese are personified by the Baba-Nonya (Grandfather-Grandmother). Generally, Peranakan Chinese communities are made up of the descendants of the marriage between Chinese men and local women, where the man’s religious beliefs remain dominant while the woman’s cultural traits prevail.

    At the beginning of the 20th century four main Peranakan Chinese communities were linked by maritime routes from the island of Penang on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia down to Malacca, then Singapore and Pekalongan on the north coast of Java. The first three communities are known to have produced beautiful silver ware, furniture, and embroidery yet they are not known to have produced batik. As such batik industries on the north coast of Java were central in the design, manufacture and supply of batik to the other three peranakan port communities.

    This is a colourful example of the ‘pagisore’ or morning-evening pattern which allows the sarong to be re-wrapped to show the other half in the latter part of the day. This textile is signed in wax by Oey Kek Hwa II and is made in the style of the earlier Eliza van Zuylen workshop.