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Asal - Floating images,

batik, military cloths, embroideries


The word ‘Asal' is originally from the Arabic language and has traveled to Indonesia , where it is part of our daily vocabulary. “Asal dari mana? ”, “Where are you from?”. This a common question asked, not only to me as a Dutch person living in Indonesia , but is often used as an opening phrase in a conversation. “Asal” means 'authentic', and is used to question origin.

‘Asal' is about the possibilities of mobility and shifting, like words traveling the globe, or like the images of clouds and water I found in Persian paintings from the Timurid, (Safavid period, 14 – 18 th century AD). This cloud shape has developed similarly in Chinese paintings and ceramics of the same era, as well as the Mega Mendung motif, a batik motif developed in the sultanate of Cirebon ( Northern Java ) that is still in production today. Through mysticism, common belief, and trade ruling the seas, those cloud images were easily exchanged and cannot be claimed to have ‘origininated' in any one nation.