■ 文｜Jakrawal Nilthamrong ■ 翻譯｜林欣怡
《樂團》是一部片長22分鐘的「半紀錄片」電影，為2008年於曼谷吉姆湯普森藝術中心（Jim Thompson Art Centre）所舉行的〈無形之手〉（Invisible Hands）展覽而製作。展覽概念是為了推廣吉姆湯普森絲綢工廠成功背後的工作者。〈無形之手〉專注於吉姆湯普森—泰國絲綢工廠場景背後的人，那群養蠶、設計和織造獨特織料的創造者。這個多媒體展覽以絲綢工廠裡值得注意的工人故事為主要特色。這些照片、錄像、音樂和錄音的裝置將詮釋隱身於泰國最成功的絲綢織造企業背後的故事。我的錄像作品聚焦於三個元素：吉姆湯普森傳統絲綢生產的歷史進程、負責特定傳統絲綢設計的紡織者的每日生活與個人生命故事、一群紡織者的個人故事，同步展呈為他們「在樂團」般的共同工作，如同音樂家在樂團裡一般。錄像將「事實」與「虛構」合而為一，給出紡織者個人生活的吉光片羽，據此表達他們想法的訓練，一如他們塑造美麗的產品。大約是2008年的六月，我去泰國最北的一個城市柯叻（Korat）進行研究。我們看了絲綢完整的生產過程；從桑樹的成長，飼蠶、煮繭、染色、到織成織品。最讓我感興趣也是我選擇回應的，是織廠裡人們紡織以及生產獨特織紋的那雙手的故事。
‘Orchestra’ is a 22 minutes semi-documentary film. It was produced for ‘Invisible Hands’ exhibition at Jim Thompson Art Centre, Bangkok in 2008. The concept of the show was to promote people working behind the success of Jim Thompson silk factory.
‘Invisible Hands’ would concentrate on the people behind the scenes of Jim Thompson – The Thai Silk Company, the innovators in sericulture, design and the weaving of premium fabric. This multi-media exhibition would feature the faces and remarkable stories of the company’s people. The installation of photos, videos, music and audio recordings would interpret the hidden story behind the most successful enterprise in Thailand’s silk weaving industry.
I had a idea to present video work focusing on three elements: the history and process of Jim Thompson’s traditional silk production; the personal story and daily life of one weaver, responsible for a particular traditional silk design; and personal stories of a group of weavers, shown working together “in orchestration,” synchronized like the musicians in an orchestra. The video merged ‘fact’ with ‘fiction’, affording glimpses of the weavers’ personal lives, of their train of thought as they craft their beautiful products.
Around June 2008 I went to Korat – a city in northeast of Thailand – to research. We saw a complete process of silk making; from growing mulberry tree, rearing of silkworms, boiling the cocoons, dyed and woven into fabric. The most interesting I found and I choose to respond with was story of the people at the hand weaving factory and the making of one particular fabric pattern.
The film started with the orchestration of the sound of looms in the hand weaving factory. Then we followed the life stories of 4 female workers revealing how they became weavers. The last person said she actually wanted to be a singer as she comforted us with her beautiful voice. Then the story broke into the second part where we followed the making process of silk fabric. It later revealed that it’s a making process of the famous pattern of Mr. Jim Thompson — American designer and businessman who helped revitalise the Thai silk industry in the ‘50s to ‘60s. Toward to the end of the film, the whole weaving factory was transformed into a music hall. The 4 female weavers dressed up in traditional Thai costume. In dreamlike space they are working with their looms which were compared to a music instrument. Together they are orchestrating a piece of music in dream.
Jakrawal was born in 1977 in Lopburi, Thailand. He currently lives and works in Bangkok. He obtained his BFA at Silpakorn University, Bangkok (2000) and MFA at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, USA (2006). In 2007-08 he was an artist in residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Jakrawal’s work spans from short films, documentary films to video installations and feature films. The themes of his work often relate to Buddhist philosophy in contemporary context and local history of specific environments to establish dialogue among multiple perspectives. His work was shown in international film festivals and art exhibitions.