Jalan Jati—Teak Road
SINGAPORE / 2012 / No Dialogue / Color / Blu-ray / 24 min
Director, Animation, Script, Producer: Lucy Davis
Editing: Edwina Ong, Michelle Yap, Jac Min
Sound: Zai Kuning, Zai Tang
Source: Leong Puiyee, Objectifs Films Pte Ltd. www.objectifsfilms.com
This film starts with the DNA of a piece of teak taken from a bed, and traces from whence it came. Based on clues found in the “memory” of this piece of wood, it follows its journey from Singapore to Sulawesi, from the colonial period to the postwar deforestation boom, drawing a creative map by imagining the thread binding humans and wood that lies hidden in the depths of the modernization’s history. Through animation, still photographs, and audio collage, this piece of teak receives new life, and moves freely as it invites the viewer on a journey through time and space.
[Director’s Statement] Jalan Jati—Teak Road is one part of a larger gallery project, which has been three years in the making. It opened at the Edinburgh Art Science Festival in 2013. The film is an uneasy and necessarily unresolved dance through genetic, historic, magic, and migratory stories of wood, trees, and people from our region, set to soundscapes by artists Zai Kuning and Zai Tang. Layers of memory are traced through the central material and subject of this film—wood from a teak bed found in a karang guni store in Singapore. Much of the imagery in the film is made out of woodprints of the grain of this bed.
Lucy Davis is a visual artist, art writer, and Assistant Professor at the School of Art Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. She is the founder of The Migrant Ecologies Project, an umbrella for arts and ecology initiatives in Southeast Asia. Her film Jalan Jati—Teak Road (2012), won the Promotion Award in the International Competition at the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival in 2012. Jalan Jati, the exhibition project, was a finalist for the French Prix COAL Art & Ecology Prize in 2011. Her Together Again (Wood: Cut) series was nominated for the APBC Signature Asia Pacific Art Prize by the Singapore Art Museum in 2011. Jalan Jati—Teak Road is her first film.