The Island Gallery


The Island Gallery
100-106 Madison Avenue N,
Bainbridge Island, WA. 98110
Tel. 206-780-9500,
Contact Susan Swannack-Nunn, Owner

June 30, 2008. For immediate release.

Fiber Face

An Exhibition of Cross-Cultural Batik Collaborations Featuring
World Renowned Batik Artists Nia Fliam & Agus Ismoyo

An ancient art form integral to Indonesian culture, batik is layered with complexity, form, function, meaning, and power, yet has boundless creative and functional applications. In their contemporary batik art, Fulbright Scholars Ismoyo and Nia explore its deep origins, reminiscent of the vast sea-mountains of the archipelago of Indonesia.

Location: The Island Gallery, 100-106 Madison Avenue N., Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Artists’ Reception: Friday, July 11, 2008, 6-8 PM

Show Run: July 11 – August 31, 2008

Please Note: In conjunction with the Exhibition, the Creativity Center presents the following two events:

Thursday, July 10, 2008, 7-9 pm, a Public Presentation. The artists will discuss the history and technique of batik-making, followed by a meet-and-greet reception.

Saturday & Sunday, July 12 & 13, 2008, a two-day batik workshop conducted by the artists. For further information: 1-800-884-2168 or

Artists: ISNIA stands for the collaborative team of Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam, renowned for their intricate, nuanced and time-intensive textiles. They are widely acknowledged as the first artists in Indonesia to go beyond the boundaries of modern batik painting and extensively explore the medium of Javanese batik as contemporary textile art. Ismoyo’s 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, traveling to Indonesia in 1983 to study batik, where she has lived since. In 1985 they established the batik studio Brahma Tirta Sari (“Creativity is the source of all knowledge”) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Embracing artistic traditions and philosophical ideas that span continents, Ismoyo and Fliam have conducted numerous workshops in Indonesia, Africa, the United States (including Bainbridge Island, Washington), and Australia, working in collaboration with Australian Aboriginals, Native Americans and Asian artists. Their collaborative work in Australia, Africa and Indonesia has had the sponsorship of the Ford Foundation and the American Embassy in Indonesia. One notable collaboration, with a group of Aboriginal artists from the Utopia Community in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia, began in March 1999 and continued for more than two years, producing 20 large batik art pieces subsequently exhibited around the world, including a 2005 exhibit at The Island Gallery, Bainbridge Island. This series, along with the consistent quality and scope of their entire body of work, has garnered Ismoyo and Fliam critical acclaim for successfully exploring their own creativity while pursuing a broader understanding of the value, role and meaning of tradition in the development of world culture.

Ismoyo and Nia explain:

“Our world culture is, in fact, one, and has arisen from the strength of ‘budi’ or human intelligence, and the spirit of humankind motivates this intelligence. This spirit is the oneness or unity we speak of. In any creative work, an awareness of our position within its framework is of utmost importance. With this in mind, it is our commitment in our creative work to devote ourselves to the work of the spirit in exploring aspects of the heritage of our world culture and its role in the shaping of contemporary culture. At the heart of it our ancient cultural traditions are the roadmap of the future.”

The duo has exhibited extensively in Indonesia and at many prestigious locations around the world. Most recently they were recipients of a Fulbright Scholarship, which brought them to Michigan in 2007-2008. During this time they presented “Fiber Face”, a very well-received exhibition of their works, at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., where their work is part of the permanent collection. This exhibition has also shown at the Netzorg and Kerr Gallery, Richmond Center for the Visual Arts, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, and at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington D.C. In October 2008, following its Bainbridge Island visit, it will travel to the cultural center of Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia.