Batik meets Kpop as West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil designs dashing tops for Super Junior’s Leeteuk and Yesung

In what appears to be an attempt to appeal to the wide market of K-pop fans in Indonesia, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil took to Instagram yesterday to show off the batik patterns that he designed, which were worn by two members of boyband Super Junior: leader Leeteuk (L) and one of the group’s main vocalists, Yesung (R). Photo: Instagram/@xxteukxx & @yesung1106
In what appears to be an attempt to appeal to the wide market of K-pop fans in Indonesia, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil took to Instagram yesterday to show off the batik patterns that he designed, which were worn by two members of boyband Super Junior: leader Leeteuk (L) and one of the group’s main vocalists, Yesung (R). Photo: Instagram/@xxteukxx & @yesung1106

We never imagined the day would come when a high-ranking Indonesian official would interact with K-pop idols casually online, and yet here we are with a governor designing clothes for the latter, no less.

In what appears to be an attempt to appeal to the wide market of K-pop fans in Indonesia, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil took to Instagram yesterday to show off the batik patterns that he designed, which were worn by two members of boyband Super Junior: leader Leeteuk and one of the group’s main vocalists, Yesung.

Ridwan thanked Leeteuk and Yesung for wearing his designs in his caption, which begins with the title “Glokal,” combining the local words for global and local.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ridwan Kamil (@ridwankamil)

“Thank you Kpop stars @xxteukxx and @yesung1106 of @superjunior for wearing the West Java batik [from] @batikkomar that I designed. You are now officially ready for ‘pergi kondangan’ (going to weddings) or ‘ikut Pilkada’ (competing in Regional Elections) in Indonesia. Kamsahamnida (thank you) from your hyung,” the caption reads, with Ridwan referring to himself as their “older brother” in Korean, which is a term used by a male to address an older male.

“For Indonesian girls, they (Super Junior) look more localized [with these batik tops] and definitely appear more approachable. Let’s keep the spirit up to make Indonesian batik go international. I’m using it for cultural diplomacy,” Ridwan added, ending the caption with hashtags #JabarJuara (#WestJavaChampion) and #SmilingWestJava.

Ridwan, who has a background in architecture, has previously designed a couple of batik patterns. These include a pattern called Garuda Kujang Kencana, created in collaboration with Bandung-based batik label Rumah Batik Komar back in 2017. The pattern has the mythological bird Garuda holding two kujang (traditional Sundanese daggers), surrounded by four other kujang. 

His other design, called Batik Iron Man or Telor Ceplok (sunny-side up), features eight kujang circling an orange-white circle, which resembled the sun as a result. This design was produced by Cirebon-based label Batik Trusmi.

Both idols also posted their batik looks to their respective Instagram pages. Leeteuk wore a red shirt with the famous Megamendung pattern from Cirebon city, West Java layered with a blazer with the Garuda Kujang Kencana pattern in blue. Megamendung, which is known for its cloud pattern and bold colors, is believed to have been influenced by Chinese merchants in the port city of Cirebon in the past.

 

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A post shared by 이특 leeteuk (@xxteukxx)

“I received the gift of batik he designed himself. Thank you Ridwan Kamil for this batik design. Thank you West Java and Indonesia. I love you,” the singer, real name Park Jung-soo, wrote in the caption.

Indonesian diva Rossa, SuJu’s labelmate in SM Entertainment, also appeared to leave a comment in Sundanese on Leeteuk’s post, writing “Kang Leeteuk hatur nuhun (thank you).”

Meanwhile, Yesung wore a yellow-green Garuda Kujang Kencana shirt layered with a red blazer that features both patterns.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Yesung (@yesung1106)

“Does it suit me? Thank you to #RidwanKamil who designed this batik. Thank you West Java and Indonesia. I love you,” Yesung, real name Kim Jong-woon, wrote in Indonesian.

Super Junior is among the second generation of talents from K-pop agency SM Entertainment, who debuted in 2005. They have since become one of the country’s most iconic K-pop acts, helping to spread the Hallyu Wave all over the world. Debuting with 13 members which was something unusual even in K-pop back then SuJu currently has nine active members, while member Sungmin has been on hiatus since 2015.

SuJu is among several major K-pop groups that have been maintaining close relationships with Indonesia and its fans. The boyband has held numerous concerts in the country, and the members have visited Indonesia both for individual trips or as a group. Currently, Siwon one of SuJu’s most famous members is the brand ambassador for Mie Sedaap’s line of Korean-inspired noodles called the Korean Spicy Series, while Donghae was recently featured in Rossa’s music video for her latest single, The Heart You Hurt.

SuJu members have also chosen their Indonesian names, which have been used by the Indonesian ELFs (Everlasting Friends, their fanclub) to affectionately refer to them such as Kadir for Leeteuk, Rangga for Yesung, Agung for Siwon, and Hotman for vocalist Kyuhyun.

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