Progresif Interview

Can I just get you to introduce yourself very quickly; your name, your age and what you do, thanks!

Hi, I’m Faiq Airudin. I’m 28 and I shoot still videos.

I believe you’re quite well-known in terms of the type of content you produce for your Instagram. I want to ask you, where does the inspiration for that come from and do you have a particular favourite thing that you produce?

I think, in terms of online content, it’s mostly things that I would wanna see. I browse Instagram, online blogs, just looking at what is interesting to a local Brunei audience. For me it’s just sharing any kind of moment, any kind of ideas and looking at it from a different angle. I think that’s the type of thing that I like to see online. I think ‘being creative’ is trying to solve a problem in the best way possible. Say, you wanna show the best places to eat, for example. There’s different ways of approaching it. When these things were [being made] at school, you’re kind of doing videos with your friends and you’re just playing around. My main thing was just sharing it among a group of friends. But I think, as you progress, that need to share something that’s interesting kinda grows and your audience grows with it.

The other concept or the other side of creativity is imagination. What does that mean to you? As a concept, do you think it’s something that is pretty open here or do you feel like there needs to be something done to build more creative spark?

I think for me the imagination aspect of it is just looking at [solution] of different ways, I think maybe that’s my sense of imagination. It’s like you’re always looking for possibilities outside this normal way that you view it. There’s a lot of people that have imagination and they approach their own subject or their own design field in a nice, creative way. Say perhaps you work in architecture and you know somebody that works in fashion. It’s a matter of doing collaboration and I think that’s where that sense of imagination needs to develop more.

I’m assuming you studied overseas? So, is that where the motivation to showcase Brunei stems from?

Do you see that not many people know about Brunei or the cultural aspects of it as much as they might know about other places like Malaysia or Singapore. I think, yea, I think the desire is maybe sparking from me being overseas and wanting to see these things but I think also looking at different areas, different fields, different photographers and videographers. They have a certain voice but they are still… it’s still a case of pushing that voice outside or moving that voice to a wider audience. I personally think that, we’re still as creative people trying to find our voice. As developed as we are there’s still a case of us kind of looking within ourselves to find something that’s really Bruneian that we can share. I don’t think it’s like a case of, you know, this is the best that we can do. There’s still time to grow, we’re still young.

So in about twenty or thirty years time when we hit 2035, where would you like Brunei to be in terms of the creative arts industry or film and photography?

I think in 2035 that we have a greater sense of importance of all aspects of art, I think in terms of say, design or fashion and or in terms of illustration; people making pottery, for example, there’s a case of how we value each of them and we know where it fits into our lives more. So, what I would want to see at that time is that I would be able to go to a shop and buy a local picture and get local painting somewhere, get my video done locally. But in terms of local creative things, there should be more variety and exploration of other design fields, so, maybe we’ll see a furniture maker, or a board game maker in the future. I think those other design aspects are not explored yet. We’re used to thinking of design as somebody who does graphic design or somebody who can take pictures, but I think design and creativity, there’s so many different things. The field is so huge there’s [so much] that still has yet to be explored.

But if we’re talking about industry, there has to be a market to support. One of the things we hear a lot is that, Brunei’s market is so small (which is true, we’re a tiny country) and we have a very limited capacity in terms of that. So, what are your thoughts on the economics/contrast of market size?

I mean, it’s odd, I think that argument is odd because in the case of new food places coming up… So I think any market can be created. The need to say, for design, work has to be created. For example how they use T-shirts in terms of design; that has been a real outlet for graphic designers in Brunei to create and share their work and that was only created in the last five years, so, yea, I think you do see growth. There’s always an appetite for Bruneians to consume local things. I don’t think that should be thought of as a hindrance to your creativity like, ‘Oh there’s no market for me to create’.