Irwan Amir Rufianto Mohd Suhartono showing some of his batik designs.
KUALA TERENGGANU (NST): Just like his batik designs, Irwan Amir Rufianto Mohd Suhartono, 29, is one of a kind.
Despite his Indonesian name, Irwan is from Kampung Pasir Panjang, and not from Indonesia, although he admitted to have been inspired by Indonesian batik motifs.
The self-taught batik designer said Indonesian batik was unique and could be recognised by almost anyone at just a glance and that was what he wanted Terengganu batik to be some day.
With no formal art or design education, Irwan, who studied civil engineering at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, said he was groomed to join his family construction business but instead decided to follow his heart.
“That was almost seven years ago.
“Now I am happy that my works have been widely accepted and I am proud to say that I have stayed true to my heritage by incorporating the colours and flavours of Terengganu in all my designs.
“In addition to flora and fauna, I have included other common sights such as the breaking waves, tree barks, beach pebbles, river granites, waterfalls, raindrops, traditional Malay boats and animals,” he said.
His proudest moment was when he saw former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wearing his batik shirt at the Monsoon Cup sailing competition in 2006 — that was when he knew his sacrifice and hard work had paid off.
“But I have yet to come to terms with my business direction. I am still without a retail outlet of my own and all this while, all my designs have been marketed under other people’s labels.
“I make it a point to only create exclusive, one of a kind design, so there are no duplicates, be they hand-painted or block design,” he said.
Irwan’s creations will be on display at the Duyong Pancing Festival at Ri-Yaz Heritage Resort and Spa in Pulau Duyong from June 4 to 6.