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Rediscover Brunei Darussalam through the eyes of the People

Monday, 20 March 2017 11:05

1003320 4414185931085 939645478 nEditor's Note: We are happy to introduce you to Fairuz 'Zabady. He's a recognised figure in the street art scene in Brunei. In this feature, Fai shares about his humble beginnings and offers sage advice from years of practising this craft. Follow his journey on Instagram @stain.bn and reach out to him for all things murals, graffiti and art supplies and workshops. Keep up the good work, bro!

Tell us about yourself.
For my day job, I'm a film maker working at Origin Films. But my first love has always been painting. I graduated from University of Southampton, UK with a Masters Degree in Fine Arts and have been actively painting (specifically Graffiti Art) since 2005.

When did your passion for art begin?
Both my parents are creatives, I guess that's where I got most of the drive from. I've always enjoyed drawing, scribbling and painting ever since I can remember. But about 2005 was when I first picked up and fell in love with spray paint, graffiti and its culture, the rest was history. It was unique, rebellious and I was determined to be the best at it. It became my main medium of producing art.



How did you develop your talent? Share with us your choice in medium of art.
I never considered myself talented, but people started noticing my work. Maybe because spray paint was not an ordinary medium to use for painting, and the attention that I received from it, drove me to do better each time I produced an artwork. I spent a lot of time experimenting with my medium, trying out different techniques and brands, analyzing my latest work, and to identify what needs to be improved, added, removed in the next one. My work consists of a lot of visual problem solving to achieve a piece of work that is visually pleasing. I spent years with this process. I painted almost daily when I could.



At the start, did you have a mentor or attend workshops?
With graffiti, it's a very lonely world when you are starting out. It still is. Maybe it's because of the negative connotation that lingers around it. You secretly sketch in your sketchbook out of interest / curiosity and there isn't anybody to tell you what's wrong or right. It was the same for me too. I never attended any workshops nor had a mentor, and everything in my practice is self-taught. This was because these resources were not easily available. All I had were "graff" friends and we bounced ideas and sketches off each other and that's how we improved.

After a while, you will start to notice your own weaknesses in your work and act upon them. We were our own mentors. We had to figure out ourselves how to work the spray paint, which nozzles to use, which brands to use, etc. But today, with the advanced technology of internet and social media, everything is within reach. A simple search on YouTube can already teach you the basics of graffiti.




In your perspective, what do you think about the art scene in Brunei?
Young and a little bit all over the place.

It's not a bad thing, and because it's dominated by the youth, the drive is strong. Everybody wants to prove something in their work and it's great. However, it's not as united as it should be. Maybe because the support given to creatives are limited, whether in the sense of education or even professionally. We grow up brainwashed to accept the skewed fact "If you aren't smart enough, you go to art class". So when artists try to make a living here professionally, we are considered less equal and less valuable by majority of the public regardless of how talented one is.

Within the art communities itself, it is noticed that the political / personal agendas affect the unity of the art community as a whole. The unity between the different generations (young & old) of artists is also non-visible. I strongly believe, Art should speak as one, art should have a united voice. There is much growing up to do in the current art scene in Brunei.

Any suggested solutions?
A more focused syllabus in the art education system. Also, greater support for the local artists by relevant bodies. And of course, someday an arts district to be allocated, where everything creative is in one area/place, including more wall space for our mural art.

Are they any future projects or something you're working on that you'd like to share with everyone?
The second Graffiti Art competition "Write This". Which is scheduled to happen middle of the year. If you've missed last year's, check out these videos on YouTube.

Finally, any advice to those who want to get into graffiti art?
A lot of of the younger creatives that I've met always question their ability to produce good work. They don't believe in themselves enough to produce good work, or refuse to challenge themselves to produce work because they are scared of judgement, or come up with many excuses to start making good work, for example the latest I've heard when I asked, "When are you gonna start with spray?". To my surprise their answers were along the lines of "nda berani bro, tunggu handal bro." Which loosely translates to "I'm not courageous enough, wait till I become an expert".

In a country of limited freedom of expression, there should be a drive to produce more mind awakening art. But instead we see a wave of "Let's not do that because we might get into trouble". We need to rid ourselves off this mentality. Work within your bubble, but make the bubble grow. My advice is, to tell you the hard truth. I did not get to where I am just by talent alone. It took years of almost daily painting and practice to master my art, and I am still learning constantly.

Every day is a learning process. The more you wait, the more you are scared to learn from your mistakes and another day is lost for improvement. If you are interested in graffiti, just pick up that spray can and do it. There's nothing to lose if you start now. If you need specific technique advice, just contact me on Instagram, I'll do my best to advice.image3


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Monday, 13 March 2017 08:09

New music video from Azizi Sabri, featuring Aadilah.

Tuesday, 07 March 2017 08:29

Gaining momentum across the internets with over 4,000 views on Facebook and nearly 8,000 views on YouTube, here's 'America First, Brunei Second'. Produced by @emmagoodegg, with thanks to The Collective and Brunei's Trump vocal impersonator.

Thursday, 23 February 2017 15:43

1 Shaikh presenting his speech on Building Peaceful Just and Inclusive Society

Shaikh presenting his speech on ‘Building Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Society’

Miri – 22 February 2017 – Shaikh Tahmid Hassin, a mass communication student of Curtin University, Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) had the honour of speaking as a representative of the Model United Nations of Curtin Malaysia (MUN.CM) at the recent 3rd Annual World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) International Model United Nations, also known as WIMUN.

The event was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 1 to 4 February and attended by over 850 delegates from around the world.

Model United Nations (MUN) is an educational simulation in which university students employ their skills of diplomacy, international relations and the code and conducts of the United Nations. The Model United Nations of Curtin Malaysia (MUN.CM) was formed in 2011 and currently has over 25 members. Its members actively participate in international MUN events and organises events of its own at the Curtin Malaysia campus.

WIMUN follows the UN4MUN approach to simulating UN meetings where it offers the most accurate simulation of the UN and provides participants an insight into the functions of the world body. UN officials or delegates are invited to speak on the topics for each committee and topics selected are from the actual UN agenda. Through this format, the delegates are able to better understand the topics and how these topics are debated, negotiated and implemented in real life.

Shaikh, who hails from Bangladesh, is the current Deputy Secretary-General of MUN.CM and one of the founding members of the annual Borneo Model United Nations Conference hosted by Curtin Malaysia.

He was selected by Curtin Malaysia to attend WIMUN based on his performance at the Global MUN Conference held at BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as well as his achievements over the years as a participant at several international MUN conferences in Asia.

Thursday, 02 March 2017 07:35

4 Group photo of Camp tastic participants facilitators and volunteers

Group photo of Camp-tastic participants, facilitators and volunteers

6 Graduate Sharing Session with Curtin Malaysia alumni

Graduate Sharing Session with Curtin Malaysia alumni

Curtin Malaysia Press Release: 1 March 2017
Events over the last weekend at the campus of Curtin University, Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) received good response from potential students, their parents and teachers. ‘Curtin Camp-tastic 2017’, the first integrated faculty learning camp organised by Curtin Malaysia, attracted over 180 third, fourth and fifth formers from secondary schools in the Miri and Bintulu divisions and Brunei.

The two-day camp was facilitated by academic staff of Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science, Faculty of Business and Faculty of Humanities led by Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Beena Giridharan.

Themed ‘Cultivate, Innovate, Captivate’, the camp aimed to inspire interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) through a project-based curriculum on a variety of subjects.

It also provided interesting science and engineering, humanities and skills based activities entitled ‘Stargazing’, ‘Journey to Mars’, “Curtin’s Next Top Entrepreneur’, ‘Introduction to Photojournalism’, ‘Language Skill Games’ and ‘Developing Personal Leadership’. In addition, the participants enjoyed side activities such as an ‘Amazing Race’ and tour of the campus.

In the closing session, the participants, facilitators and student volunteers got together to reflect on their experiences during the camp. In her closing remarks, Professor Giridharan encouraged the students to continue pursuing their interest in different academic fields and reminded them of the importance of a good education.

Many of the participants commented that the sessions run by the faculties were very enriching, allowing them to gain insights into university studies and career pathways they can pursue in the future. They were also glad for the opportunity to make new friends and have fun while learning.

1 Stargazing activity organised by Malaysian Nature Society MNS as part of Camp tastic 2017

Stargazing activity organised by Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) as part of Camp-Tastic 2017

2 Participants presenting business pitches during Curtins Next Top Entrepreneur session

Participants presenting business pitches during ‘Curtin’s Next Top Entrepreneur’ session

Doris Chelam, one of the teachers accompanying students from SMK Tinjar, Baram in a letter to the university praised it for not just motivating the students to pursue tertiary studies after their SPM but also for its warm hospitality.

“We felt very welcome and were well taken care of, particularly some of our students who were unwell. We are grateful for the opportunity for rural students to explore an internationally-renowned university and we hope to collaborate in organising outreach projects in Baram in the future,” Doris stated.

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About the Editor

new about me profI am a born and bred Bruneian who lived and worked in Australia for over 10 years. I am now based in Brunei. Having spent time away from Brunei, I have learnt that, to know a country is to know the people. To truly appreciate a new place is to see it through their eyes, to listen to their stories, to taste, smell, do and feel as they do.

Everyone has a Story, and this blog - Projek Brunei, features the stories, music, photography and art of locals and of people who have lived or worked in Brunei before. Join me on this project, a project to discover and rediscover this country they call the Abode of Peace, the Heart of Borneo, this place they call the Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures...through the stories of the People.

You may know me by my online moniker, @BruneiTweet. I created BruneiTweet in 2009, and currently (October 2016), I have over 30,000 followers. I am passionate about community, and use social media to connect with people - both on and offline.

I have an MBA, a keen interest in business-development and marketing, and I am a three-time TEDx speaker. I believe in the power of social media and collaboration. I have worked alongside corporate organisations on various community projects. Some highlights from my journey to date: In 2011, I co-organised Twestival Brunei to raise awareness and funds for Brunei’s Child Development Centre. That year I also organised Convergence, Brunei’s first youth led leadership forum. In 2012, I co-organised Movember to raise awareness on men's health issues. In 2013, I participated at various forums including Brunei's National Environment Conference and the ASEAN Social Media Exchange in Thailand. In 2014, I was selected to represent Brunei at the Australia-ASEAN Emerging Leaders Programme. In 2015, I was involved as a panel moderator in an International Women's Day event, and was invited to speak at the Green Leaders Eco-Camp in Brunei about using social media with purpose.
But enough about me.

If you have something interesting to share with the rest of the world about Brunei or are interested in being featured on ProjekBrunei, reach me here or email me at bruneitweet@gmail.com.

I would love to hear your side of the story.

You, You and You

Something interesting to share with the rest of the world about Brunei? Interested in being featured on ProjekBrunei.com? Reach me here.