Kurangkan Maju (‘Reduce Moving Forward’)
‘Kurangkan Maju’ is a standalone short film-music video directed by A-Jun. A 15-minute meditative piece on places, time, and modernity, it features A-Jun’s hometown of Klang in the West Malaysian state of Selangor. The song title literally translates to ‘Reduce Moving Forward’ which is a play on the traffic road sign phrase ‘Kurangkan Laju’ (‘Reduce Speed’). The song is an improvised solo guitar piece that I recorded on my smartphone using the audio recorder app – I love the seemingly organic raw quality of the sound because it reminds me of my DIY (do-it-yourself) cassette recording roots. I wanted the video to give audiences a chance to reflect on their surroundings and how nature itself often too resists human development in its own quiet way, in plain sight. I feel our sense of time has been corrupted by modernity and this has some serious implications in our lives. We need to slow down. I love the fact that the stillness in A-Jun’s rustic cinematography gives the video a pictorial quality and catches one unaware. It challenges the audience to take some time off and be patient. Launched on New Year’s Eve in 2018, ironically, the pandemic forced us all to slow down just over a year after this video and song was released.