Yogi Rusdianta and Santika, handmade batik artisans Bringing custom batik to the NBA

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Yogi Rusdianta and Santika
Yogi Rusdianta and Santika: married couple, batik artisans, entrepreneurs. Photo: YOGI RUSDIANTA ARCHIVES

IO – Indiana Pacers player Justin Holiday suddenly became a trending topic in both the real and virtual world after he ordered a custom-made batik tulis (hand-drawn batik) all the way from Blitar. To be precise, he placed his order with Yogi Rosdianta and Santika, married batik artisans / entrepreneurs from the Batik Mawar Putih atelier. 

Yogi revealed that Justin ordered custom handmade batik from him to respond to online bullying. When the latter worn a batik suit to an event and posted pics of same on his Instagram accounts, cynical netizens voiced doubts that he really was wearing a batik suit. Justin’s management then responded by seeking out authentic batik online – and ended up discovering the profile of Yogi Rosdianta, owner of Batik Mawar Putih handmade batik atelier in Blitar, East Java. 

“They probably caught our profile while browsing because we promoted aggressively to get into the international market as our business focus back in 2019. I remember having discussions with many people, among others the Ambassador of Russia, to get into the European market; Indonesia’s Embassies were very supportive of us,” Yogi declared when he was contacted by the AllIndonesia Basketball Union Central Management’s media officer on Wednesday, 9 February. 

Batik Mawar Putih’s discussions with Justin Holiday’s management took place in mid-2021. He ordered a custom batik tulis with characteristically Indonesian motifs in five colors – red, white, gold, and green on a black background. The complicated process is taking two months, with the nyanting or wax painting only starting in December 2021 and now at a finishing stage. The atelier did not start until they found out exactly what he wanted – what motifs, colors, and designs, if he has any ideas to contribute. It took a whole month of discussions and revisions of the design before Justin was satisfied. 

“Justin wanted a motif that contains pieces of local wisdom and art. We ended up with kuda lumping (woven bamboo hobby horse), pecut samandiman (colored leather whip with yarn tassels), kendang cinde (traditional drum), and the garuda bird. The chest has a central motif of Bung Karno’s mausoleum to represent Blitar. Why these particular motifs? We want to showcase Indonesia’s dignified art and culture, especially those originating in Blitar,” Yogi said. “Justin’s order was fully customized so that he can make a formal shirt made to order with it. We made the design carefully on an extra-large cloth – 3.5 meters long instead of the usual 2.5 meters length or shorter that we use on Indonesian bodies. This exclusive design and measurement is our strength as an exclusive atelier. This single piece costs IDR 2 million, not including taxes.” 

Yogi declared that as a basketball fan, creating a custom order for an athlete like Justin is special. He loves basketball so much, he even became a CLS Surabaya player in his teens back in 2002/2003. When he retired from that, he delved into streetball and crushbone. He still takes to the hoop regularly to stay ft. “Unfortunately, I never had the honor of meeting Justin personally even though he ordered a custom batik piece from me. I actually wanted to make a personal delivery to him, but current conditions are forcing me to send by post instead. However, I heard that he is planning to come to Indonesia once restrictions are lifted – and that’s the moment that I finally meet him in person, I hope,” he said. (rp)