Batik Origami Inspired Painting

Being an artist, I am always on the lookout for something new, but yet relatable in my work. I’ve been looking for a long time trying to find that something – a theme that would appeal to me as much as it will / might appeal to the public in general. To find that sweet spot has been a struggle. A part of me want to explore, experiment and still stay true to myself, and the other – I just want let go and try something completely different and see what happens. So, I decided to get a little crafty this past week, and took out my sewing machine that has been sitting in the store room for more than 5 years (!), and tryr my hands at making a bunny origami out of a local sarong (which I bought back in February 2020 for a “buy-first-decide-later” art purposes).

I’ve always been a fan of painted fabrics and draperies, the folds and the intricacies that comes with it. For a long time, I have always avoided painting fabric folds as I find it too daunting to tackle – but I know I have always enjoyed seeing it on other people’s work and I get blown away by their skills everytime.

So this is my attempt at painting the origami bunny made out of the sarong batik cloth. Below are the progression shots.

The inspiration behind this painting is a combination between two cultures, Malaysia and Japanese. I have fond memories of my late grandmother who would always wear her sarong or “muar” as part of her daily outfit.

Why Japanese?

During my teen years, my mom was really into Japanese culture. She was learning the Japanese language and would decorate the apartment with Japanese ornaments, make Japanese food, listen to Japanese music, have Japanese friends and even took me to Osaka, Japan when I was 16. *wink*

So I guess this is small representation of my teen years memory and influences and I packaged it into a modern batik origami rabbit which I can call my own 🙂

Original photo as my reference.
Work in progress shot.
Final painting. Oil on canvas. 24″ x 24″

I am pleased with how it turned out. Better than I had expected to be honest!

It definitely gave me an idea to make a couple more of different animals and maybe eventually introducing some human elements into it as well. I am excited to make a couple more for sure, and I have a feeling this is going to stick for a while 🙂

Comment below on your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!


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