Indonesia, Java, Pekalongan, around 1910
Asian Civilisations Museum, Gift of Lim and Tan Securities Pte Ltd in memory of Johnny and Nancy Lim [2013-00400]
The mother and child on this batik cloth evokes thoughts of mother goddess images in many cultures. It relates to the Christian Virgin and Child and the “child-giving Guanyin”, a Chinese adaptation of the Indian bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteshvara.
Probably produced by mixed Chinese Indonesian artisans who would have been familiar with both images, the cloth might have been made to appeal to both Buddhists and Christians. The amusingly misspelled biscuit logo references an imported European treat.