Jimmy Affar is a Papuan born designer with a keen interest to his heritage. His initial fascination with patterns found in Papua has brought him to marry two cultures in to one. Papuan patterns are mostly painted on media that are not easily marketed, hence can’t be easily enjoyed, such as rocks, woods, and leather. This is different from Batik, which is already a world and national heritage and widely known for its versatility. Just like that, the marriage between Batik and the Papuan pattern happened.
After 4 months of studying batik in Pekalongan, one of the batik art centers, Jimmy finally managed to use canting (batik painting tool) and to process colors. His brand, pendopo Batik Port Numbay, located in Jayapura, Papua, is famous as the pioneer of batik in Papua. Now, after 7 years of dedicating him self in this art, his Papua batik has become the souvenir for people visiting Papua.
He employs local women who are native to Papua to make his batik. The price and material varies. For example, his batik that is made from Primisima cotton is sold for 650,000 IDR (2 meters), 750,000 IDR (2.5 meters), and 850,000 IDR (3 meters). While his long sleeved shirt (S-L sizes) is sold for 650,000 IDR, and his short sleeved shirt is sold for 500,000 IDR. For a pricier pieces, Jimmy also sells batik with silk material. Two meters of his silk batik is sold for 2,000,000 IDR and 6 meters of his silk batik is sold for 4.750,000 IDR.
His batik galery in Cogombong, Kotaraja Dalam, Abepura District of Jayapura, Papua, receives customers who wants to buy his unique batik. Hence, besides making his heritage famous, he also gives new source of income to the papuan people.
Recently, Jimmy Affar has been awarded as a Papuan ethnic designer by the Indonesian Institute of Designers (IPI) in Hamburg, Germany, in July 5th of 2014. This is a proud moment for not only Jimmy Affar, but also for Papua, because this is the first time that a Papuan designer has been granted such honor.
Jimmy Affar is an example of the rich and varied Indonesian cultures. One culture can enrich one another in a beautiful harmony. Each one is as treasured as the other. Hopefully, more attention and appreciation would be given to papuan batik and more people can enjoy it.