(Obin) Komara began collecting vintage cloth pieces from all over
Indonesia in the mid 1970s. Obin’s search to find contemporary
fabrics that could compare with the antique textile pieces in her
own collection, convinced her that the rich heritage of Indonesian
textile weaving and dyeing had been almost forgotten in the midst
of mass machine production.
A few of the old masters of traditional
cloth making were still alive, some were still working, while others
had given up or could not continue their work.
Rather than lamenting the passing of an
era and the loss of an art, Obin set about breathing new life into
the dying handmade cloth industry. And so, with only a handful of
spinners, reelers, and weavers. Obin and her team began to make
cloth in the late 70s.
In the 1986, BIN house opened its first
shop in Jakarta, which was soon followed with scores of textile
exhibi-tions, mainly in Japan and in Indonesia.
The following year, BIN house entered an
International Textile Design Contest held in Tokyo and won the first
prize with an ikat piece that is entirely handwoven. Batik making
has now become the main focus of Bin’s work. Together with
her team of artisans at BIN house, she continuous her research and
experimentations in batik making and other techniques.
In addition to cloth making, Obin
has also participated in international forums such as seminars,
symposiums, workshops and discussions on textile making, the most
recent of which was “Artisans of South East Asia” a
symposium organized by UNESCO and The Toyota Foundation in 2001.