Idyllic Canting: Toya’s Batik Art


ISBN: 981-05-5744-2
Published in 2006

“Is this batik?” is a common question asked when practitioners of art and batik experts encounter paintings by Toya. Penang-born Toya Lim Khoon Hock redefined the traditions of batik painting practice with his ‘lineless’ batik, a technique forged through countless experimentation, a labour of love and his unwavering vision, where he sought to imitate the seamless blend of light and pictorial elements like the Impressionists. His work often reminds one of paintings by Seurat and Pissaro. Through his dedication and innovation, he completely eradicated the signature crackles and outlines often seen in the distinctive Javanese indigenous textile.

Essays by curator of the exhibition Justin Loke and Director of Gallery & Theatre, Ms Bridget Tracy Tan, introduce the artist’s life and works and the history behind the tradition of batik practice. This catalogue documents his practice over the past decade, a testament to his commitment to the legacy of this early Southeast Asian cultural enterprise.