AS part of previously-mentioned guerrilla festival BINTANG X BULAN, The Daily Seni had the opportunity to work with Sisi Seni Production, a Kuala Lumpur collective we’ve been following over the past year.
From their involvement in Han Zalini‘s short Neeruza to their collaboration with Negeri Sembilan art collective Waghihsan for a site-specific play, Sisi Seni has always possessed a drive to reach beyond the performing arts sphere. Furthermore, last year’s Skandal Lepas Mati is now shortlisted for the Audience Choice Award at the upcoming 13th Boh Cameronian Arts Awards.
Led by graphic designer/performer Cech Adrea, the collective will be presenting POET VS WILD, a multi-disciplinary performance in Minut Init this Saturday.
POET VS WILD began as an impromptu effort after members from different acts and collectives met at Nomad, Damansara Perdana in February. There, they got onto the same wavelength and began to plan a zero-budget performance in the cafe, operated by friends.
The one-off show eventually saw the likes of Projek Rabak‘s Seyn Jukey and Takahara Suiko (of The Venopian Solitude) and poet Jamal Raslan sharing the stage for a night, entertaining a strong crowd.
“Each person had a different reason for doing it,” states Cech. “Our theme was friendship and poetry and music, and I knew everyone but Takahara Suiko, who joined us through friends in the publishing scene.”
“As soon as we got the poster out, it turned out a lot of people already wanted to come because they had friends in the line-up.”
Working with Cech on the project is Farah Kamsari, a petite, corporate woman with a secret life as a singer-songwriter. As i.farah, she was responsible for “Gula-Gula Getah“, a popular track off 2012 action film Chow Kit.
“It becomes something to talk about, something to remember,” Farah explains. “There’s an impact from the entire thing, and all of us end up growing closer to one another.”
For the upcoming edition of POET VS WILD on 16 April, Sisi Seni gathered old and new friends for another special night of free expression. This time round however they’ve managed to score Jamal’s return and even snapped up award-winning musician Amir Jahari, who will be performing material from his new album.
Across ninety minutes, acts set to take the stage also include Jack Malik, Leaism, Asmaraloka, Lara Hassan, Surnia Fizul and Eyza Bahra.
Sisi Seni member Amzar Anaqi hopes that the format brings more people together and does its part in growing audiences for local art.
“This is the first small-scale event we’ve done which combines many types of music and spoken word,” he states. “Everyone executes their own ideas and it gets quite wild; performers have even flung their microphones.”
“This event is very punk, Jamal Raslan once said.”
In the case of Jamal, several members of Sisi Seni were not privy to the poet’s work or the poetry scene in general prior to the first installation of POET VS WILD. Amzar himself was introduced to Jamal through Projek Rabak’s week-long festival Ipoh Kreatif.
Seeking solution to the segregation endemic to Malaysia’s performing arts scene, but taking into account the spirit of camaraderie among curious, local creatives, POET VS WILD is a line-up of different acts performing their own pieces in a designated space.
Sisi Seni believes that by pitting different disciplines together into one performance, people can connect through shared interests and new experiences.
“Friends of friends come, and they bring their friends,” continues Cech, “then they see familiar and unfamiliar things. In the end, they accept these other forms of expression and discover something beyond their own comfort zones.”
“It’s really, really not formal.”
Catch POET VS WILD this Saturday as part of BINTANG X BULAN, a one-day festival happening at Minut Init.
POET VS WILD takes place from 8:00pm onwards on 16 April 2016 at Minut Init, 29A&B Jalan SS 21/37, Uptown Damansara Utama (above Amour Butik next to 7 Eleven), Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Entry is free, but a donation box will be available for those willing to contribute to the artist’s post-performance meals. To confirm attendance, please head over to POET VS WILD on Facebook.