I have known Iwan Tirta quite a number of years. Mas Iwan (I would call him) would tell people that I have known him since I was young… not so true, younger perhaps hehehe. Then he would tell people that actually he watched me grow as a person…perhaps this one is quite true. Mas Iwan, then would tell me that life is like a wheel that turns, sometimes you will be on top, and other times you can be at the bottom, but that’s just Life in general. I believe that so. Well, anyhow, I think mas Iwan Tirta is a very fascinating individual to talk to, be it about his philosophy in life or how sacredly meaningful the pattern of a certain batik cloth. He is the one person who has a very indepth knowledge on Indonesian cultures, lifestyle and of course Indonesian Batik. At the age of 73 years old, mas Iwan still does his own batik in his house at Panarukan, still travels the world to give a talk, still has time to become a restaurant consultant, which makes him one of the most inspiring and hard working persona of the century. It is always delightful to have him as a company.
In his website, it is said that Iwan Tirta is often credited with introducing Indonesia batik to the rest of the world. I would totally agree on that. He studied at the London School of Economics and Yale Law School. His love for batik blossomed when he won a research grant from The John D. Rockerfeller III Fund. Iwan Tirta embarked on a research project into the sacred dances of the Susuhunan of Surakarta Royal Court. There, surrounded by the life of Central Java Courts, he nurtured his newfound interest in Javanese fabric. His interest was stimulated by his mother’s batik collection, which included some of Indonesia’s best batiks.