2503 Winford Ave

Nashville, TN 37211


Home Press Beauty in Bali, The Art of Caye David and Jalan-Jalan

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You’ve never been in a shop that more perfectly reflects the elegance, aesthetics, and desires of its owner than does Jalan-Jalan, Caye David’s 
MG 5713rtmagnificent Indonesian antique-furniture showroom in the heart of Nashville. 
Born fifteen years ago on a whim and a tiny budget, the business came about when David fell in love with Bali and decided she had to have a connection there. The elegant yet simple tables, benches, bowls, and functional art objects in Jalan-Jalan have a universal appeal, and they glow with patina that can come only from wear. What kind of woman would make it her business to ship massive containers of beautiful things halfway around the world? Caye David sat down with Nashville Arts to tell us.

NAM: What touched you about Bali so much that you had to make it a part of your life?

DAVID: The elegant culture so vested in its own ancestry and belief system. The beauty. The people.

NAM: Did Nashvillians embrace the idea of Indonesian antiques right away, or did you have to educate them?

DAVID: There was an education process. But people recognize quality and beauty even if they don’t understand the culture where it came from. People love the stories behind the pieces, the history, the provenance. Educating people about true Indonesian antiques 
vs. reproductions wasn’t hard once people saw the difference themselves.

NAM: What does Jalan-Jalan mean?

DAVID: The Indonesian word for road is jalan. Jalan-Jalan is an idiom that means, “I’m just going for a walk.” It’s what you say in the busy marketplace when people are pressuring you to buy: I’m just looking, just going for a walk.

MG 5776-rt-crop-590x554NAM: So when people come in, what do they like best?

DAVID: People love the warmth of old wood, especially in contemporary settings where it softens hard edges. There are pieces that people live with day in and day out. Coffee tables, dining tables, and benches are always in demand. My new design line, Ancient Modern, created from old wood sells as fast as I can make it.

NAM: My favorite thing in your shop is an old wooden bowl, carved, with a knotted rope on the bottom of it.

DAVID: It’s a food bowl. Farmers would take it with them into the rice fields each day.

MG 5850-rt-crop-460x590

NAM: That’s so charming. Now I want it. I love that
so many things in your shop are art objects but
they’re useful.

DAVID: The accessories in my showroom began their life as utilitarian. I call it Agrarian Art. Rice spoons, fishing baskets, bowls. It’s honest beauty.

NAM: What’s the average customer of Jalan-Jalan like? DAVID: My customers are creative and curious and often have some

MG 5798-rt-ff-590x393world travel under their belts. They don’t want the ordinary and what they’ll see in everyone else’s homes. They also appreciate other cultures.

NAM: My impression is you work hard but you make it look effortless. Like a swan. All serene on top of the water but paddling furiously underneath.

DAVID: (Laughs.)I think people believe the showroom just magically appears all put together, but recently I posted a lot of photos on Facebook of the whole process, the travel, the buying—all the way to the container’s arrival and unloading crates. It’s like a massive jigsaw puzzle because I don’t buy rooms to go. I buy what I love and hope it will all come together. I have a lot of great help both in Bali and stateside.

NAM: You spend time in Bali and you have a house in Jamaica, two wildly different cultures. What attracts you to these two very dissimilar but indigenous cultures?

DAVID: Experiencing other cultures has taught me how small the world really is, how connected we are, and how we want basically the same things in life. MG 5836-rt-crop

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NAM: You wrote on Facebook: “No greater joy, frustration, wonder and appreciation exists for our First World than building a life in the Third.”

DAVID: That’s true.

NAM: Now the Lightening Round: What do you value above all?

DAVID: My children and my friends.MG 5807-rt-crop

NAM: What excites you?

DAVID: Travel; a new shipment. Hockey.

NAM: If they made a movie of your life, who would
play you?

DAVID: Catherine Keener.

NAM: What’s the craziest thing you shipped to Nashville from Bali?

DAVID: A six-foot-tall standing stone torso. It’s in the showroom now!

NAM: What did I leave out?

DAVID: I have a small, nonprofit organization, 
Overseas Medical, taking medical supplies to Third World countries.    

Visit Jalan-Jalan at 2503 Winford Avenue, Nashville. www.jalanjalanantiques.com


© Jalan-Jalan Antiques 2013