The Soul of Batik: the techniques and philosophy of Javanese batik with Agus Ismoyo, Nia Fliam and Threads of Life. 02-08 Sep 2018

Sun, 02 September 2018, 6:00 PM - Sat, 08 September 2018, 12:00 PM [SST]

Jalan Subak Uma Petulu Lebah, Petulu, Ubud, Bali, 80571, Indonesia


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Residential Participant. Prices in USD (Click ‘>’ at left for details) Partial Approval -$1,165.00

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Includes 6 nights twin-share accommodations; 5 days of workshop program program; arrival and departure airport transfers; breakfasts, 5 lunches, 2 group dinners; scheduled local transportation. (Note: twin share rooms may be made up with a king size bed for couples; single room supplements available on request; shared accommodations for a participant’s partner available on request.)

Non-Residential Participant. Prices in USD (Click ‘>’ at left for details) Partial Approval - $770.00

Available Tickets - N/A

Includes 5 days of workshop program program; arrival and departure airport transfers; breakfasts, 5 lunches, 2 group dinners; scheduled local transportation; morning and afternoon transfers between accommodations in central Ubud and the workshop venue.

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Event Information

Sun, 02 September 2018, 6:00 PM - Sat, 08 September 2018, 12:00 PM [SST]

About the Event

The Soul of Batik: the techniques and philosophy of Javanese Batik

with tradition keepers Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam

A 7-day Natural Dye Batik Workshop at the the Threads of Life natural dye studio and botanical garden in Umajati Retreat, Ubud, Bali


(This workshop was originally promoted under the title "Tribawana: the Inner Journey and Outer Practice of Batik and Natural Dyes")


This combined workshop brings you two of Indonesia’s great textile traditions: an immersion into the spirit and practice of batik from Java, and a hands-on experience of the archipelago’s indigenous natural dye traditions. The workshop is suitable for beginners, intermediate and advanced practitioners alike.


This week-long workshop explores both the process of batik and an understanding of intangible culture that is at the heart of batik. Agus and Nia will pass on the technical knowledge they have gained through their 30-year creative collaboration by introducing the elements of the batik process: wax (the element of fire), and dye (the elements of water and air). In the introduction to wax, participants will learn the basic techniques of hand-drawn and cap-stamped batik, and participate in the introduction to dyes, specifically, learning about natural dyes. The goals are for the participants to initiate or improve the technical aspects of their batik skills, to enhance their creative process through a personal project, gain insight into Indonesia's traditional natural dye practices.


Exploring the intangible culture that is expressed hrough Javanese batik, there will also be sessions to introduce the Tribawana creative process in exercises that emphasize batiking as a process of the whole body. The practice of batik is deeply rooted in the cultural history of Indonesia, with techniques passed on orally through the generations. According to Agus and Nia, part of this oral tradition is Java’s ancient Three Worlds (Tribawana) creative process. With the potential to open a path for pure creative energy within each person, this three-fold process teaches participants to look for the source of creative inspiration within themselves, to develop an intuitive connection with the natural world, and to discover a personal spiritual connection with the creative source.



Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam

Alongside the batik, the Threads of Life’s dye team will offer: dyeing and preparing dye with fresh indigo (Indigofera tinctoria, I. suffruticosa, Strobilanthes cusia) from the dye garden; use of sustainably sourced Ceriops tagal dyes that form the basis of the brown in Central Javanese batik; and an exploration of Indonesia’s indigenous red dye from the root bark of Morinda citrifolia, including preparation for the 2-month oiling process, and use of the Symplocos plant-based alum mordant. 


Hosted at the Threads of Life natural dye studio and botanical garden, the workshop’s dye component will be led by staff dyers Komang Sujata, Wayan Sukadana and ethnobotanist Made Maduarta using plants from the studio’s own gardens and Threads of Life’s network of dyers. Komang, Wayan and Made each have 15 years of collaborative field research experience studying, documenting, replicating, and teaching dye recipes learned from indigenous master natural dyers across the archipelago. 


Husband and wife batik artists Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam were the first in Indonesia to extensively explore the medium of Javanese batik as contemporary textile art outside the boundaries of modern batik painting. Ismoyo comes from a family whose ancestors produced batik in Surakarta, Central Java. Fliam studied at the Pratt Institute, New York, and has practiced batik since 1983. They have exhibited extensively in Indonesia, Europe, the United States, Australia, and Southeast Asia and their work is in the permanent collections of museums, galleries and private collectors around the world. Beginning in 1988, they taught workshops and have collaborated creatively with African, Australian Aboriginal and North American First Nation artists. From this work they have developed a teaching methodology that embraces cultural diversity yet is deeply rooted in the cultural history of Indonesia. Their workshop introduces Java’s ancient Three Worlds (Tribawana) creative process that teaches participants to look for the source of creativity within themselves by becoming one with nature and the creative source; to discover an intuitive sensitivity as a channel for their creative energies; and through this to forge a path to their own creative process.          




Workshop Schedule

ARRIVE IN UBUD: Sunday 02 September 2018

PROGRAM INTRODUCTION AND GROUP DINNER: Sunday 02 September 2018, 6:00 pm

WORKSHOP: Monday 03 September to Friday 07 September 2018, 9 am to 5 pm

PROGRAM CLOSURE AND GROUP DINNER: Friday 07 September, 6:00 pm

DEPART FROM UBUD: Saturday 08 September 2018 

Daily Workshop Schedule

08:00 - 09:00   Shuttle from Ubud to Umajati Retreat for non-resident participants

09:00 - 10:00   Creative process excercises

10:00 - 13:00   Batik workshop

12:00 - 13:00   Dye work by studio staff

13:00 - 14:00   Lunch

14:00 - 17:00   Batik workshop

17:00 - 18:00   Dye work by studio staff

17:00 - 18:00   Shuttle from Umajati Retreat to Ubud for non-resident participants





5 days of workshop program; arrival and departure airport transfers; 5 lunches, 2 dinners; scheduled local transportation. 


6 nights of twin-share accommodations, 6 breakfasts.

Note: twin share rooms may be made up with a king size bed for couples; single room supplements available on request; shared accommodations for a participant’s partner available on request.


Morning and afternoon shuttle transfers between accommodations in central Ubud and the workshop venue are included in the workshop. The shuttle route will be along Raya Ubud Road (, Hanoman Road (, Monkey Forest Road (, and Suweta Road ( and participants will be notified before the workshop what time and where their morning pick-up will be.


Maximum group size is 10 participants. Minimum group size for the published itinerary is 4 participants. If the group size is 2 or 3 participants, the workshop will be led by either Nia Fliam or Agus Ismoyo instead of by both of them. If there is only one participant, the workshop will be led by Threads of Life dye studio staff following the itinerary and pricing of the Batik Week workshop with a refund made for the price difference.


Payment will be made through PayPal via an automatic link in the booking website. You do not need to have a PayPal account to make a payment; PayPal will simply be used to process your credit card payment.


If you do not have a credit card or if the link between the booking website and PayPal fails, payment can be made directly: 

(1) Complete the registration process as far as you can then contact and tell us you were unable to complete your registration; we will then put your place on hold so that it does not get rebooked

(2a) Make payment through your PayPal account to

(2b) Or make payment by bank transfer to: Account name — PT Ersania; Account number — 2-195-091015; Bank Name — Maybank Indonesia; SWIFT code — IBBK IDJA; Bank Branch — Ubud; Branch Address — Jalan Raya Ubud, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia.


Cancellation requests must be made by email to The date of cancellation is the date on which the written cancellation is received in Bali. No refund will be made for failure to attend or if you voluntarily leave the workshop for any reason after it has begun. No refunds will be given for any accommodation, transport, sightseeing, meals or services not used during the workshop. Cancellation may be made at any time and refunds will be reversed directly from PayPal to your PayPal account or credit card with the following conditions:

• A 100% refund will be made within 7 days of booking to allow participants to arrange air tickets and time off from work. 

• From 8 days after booking, and if there are still more than 91 days until the workshop, a 90% refund will be made for cancellation.

• From 90 days before the workshop up to 31 days before the workshop, a 50% refund will be made.

• Within 30 days of the workshop, no refund will be made.


Travel insurance is required for all participants. Travel insurance should, at minimum, provide coverage against trip cancellation, travel interruption, personal accident, personal liability, medical expenses, and emergency evacuation. (An emergency air medical evacuation to Singapore can cost upwards of USD 30,000.) Medical care facilities in Indonesia are significantly different from the West and medical evacuation is extremely expensive. 


In the event that an eruption of Mount Agung on Bali disrupts travel to or from Bali for the workshop, or makes hosting of the workshop impractical or unsafe, the organizers will cancel the workshop. Under such circumstances, participants will claim refunds for the workshop fees from their travel insurance. If a participant's travel insurance has an exclusion on claims caused by the eruption of Mount Agung, Threads of Life will make a full refund of workshop fees upon receipt of a copy of the certificate of insurance including this exclusion; however, in such circumstances the organizers cannot be responsible for any participants’ airfares or non-resident participants’ accommodations.


If the workshop is cancelled by the organizers, there will be a 100% refund of participants’ workshop payments within 28 days of the cancellation; however, we cannot be responsible for refunds of participants’ airfares or non-residential accommodation costs. 


We cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected by reason of circumstances amounting to “force majeure”. Circumstances amounting to “force majeure” include any event which Threads of Life and workshop leader(s) could not even with all due care, foresee or forestall such as (by way of example and not by way of limitation) acts of God, terrorist activities, insurrection, explosion, flood, tempest, forceful wind, fire or accident, war or threat of war declared or undeclared, sabotage, civil disturbance, labor strikes, requisition, sickness, quarantine, government intervention, weather conditions, and unforeseen circumstances.

Event Location

About the Organizer

Threads of Life works with over 1,000 women weavers in more than 50 communities on 12 islands across Indonesia to support the continued expression of indigenous textile traditions at their highest level and using natural dyes. By facilitating the continued articulation of ancestral values concerning textile meanings and dye plant use, Threads of Life shares this wisdom with the world and builds livelihoods based on contemporary textile production. The Threads of Life gallery in Ubud, Bali, features masterworks from contemporary weavers of traditional textiles from across Indonesia. These are curated with extensive cultural background information and video in a retail gallery. The shop space also sells smaller wearable scarves and textiles, along with basketry, decorative pillows and other homewares crafted to the highest standards from materials made in the communities with which Threads of Life works.