The Island Gallery

ISNIA stands for the collaborative husband and wife team of Agus Ismoyo (Indonesia) and Nia Fliam (United States). In 1985 Ismoyo and Nia established the batik studio Brahma Tirta Sari. Ismoyo and Fliam were the first artists in Indonesia to extensively explore the medium of Javanese batik as contemporary textile art outside the boundaries of modern lukisan batik (batik painting). Ismoyo comes from a family whose ancestors produced batik for the royal court of Surakarta in Central Java. Fliam was born in the United States and studied at the Pratt Institute, New York. She came to Indonesia in 1983 to study batik and has lived there since.

Nia and Ismoyo have exhibited extensively in Indonesia, Europe, the United States, Australia and Southeast Asia. Since 1988 the artists have conducted numerous workshops in Indonesia and Australia with Aboriginal batik artists. In 1994 they began an intensive collaboration with Aboriginal women artists from the central Australian desert community of Utopia. During a two-year period they produced 20 large batik wall hangings that have become part of the permanent collections of museums, galleries and private collections in Australia, Europe and the U.S. One piece, Cahaya, is exhibited at The Island Gallery. Since this international start ISNIA has collaborated with groups in Mali and with Native Americans.

In the words of James Bennett, Curator of Asian Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Their international exhibition record and representation in major collections is a testimony to the standing of Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam, as being among the most significant textiles practitioners of our time. In particular, their extensive experience gained in cross-cultural exchange projects with Australian Aboriginal artists living on remote indigenous communities, is widely acknowledged as a model of the bilateral communication and shared inspiration possible between artists working closely together in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding.

Brahma Tirta Sari was invited by the International World Batik Conference to exhibit their work in Cambridge, Massachusetts in June 2005. Twenty silk lengths using batik methods, reverse appliqué and stitched collage were exhibited. While the major portion of this exhibition included collaborative works by Ismoyo and Nia, additional collaborative works with Aboriginal artists from the Utopia Urapuntja Community in Australia were exhibited. In conjunction with the conference, an exhibition of contemporary batik fashion entitled Batik Fashion/American Style was held at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts. ISNIA silk scarves patterned with complex layers of motifs were prominently featured in this show. Following these events, Nia and Ismoyo traveled to Washington State where they held a Batik Workshop at the Island School on Bainbridge Island and appeared at the opening of the exhibition of their work at The Island Gallery.

:   PAST SHOWS   (more...)

Public Lecture,
Agus Ismoyo & Nia Fliam (ISNIA)

Thursday, July 10, 2008
Bainbridge Public Library

Fiber Face,
Agus Ismoyo & Nia Fliam (ISNIA)

Opening Friday July 11, 2008
(see press release.)

Batik Workshop,
Agus Ismoyo & Nia Fliam (ISNIA)

July 12-13, 2008
Creativity Center on
Bainbridge Island, $350,
call 1-800-884-2168 to register

June-July 2005
Celebration of Batik: The Artistry of Agus Ismoyo & Nia Fliam.
(see press release)

Single panels, backed or unbacked, are beautiful on the wall. Multiple panels with complementary colors and motifs enhance larger areas.