Arts & CultureLIFESTYLE

The Other Festival 2017 – Feast for Artists

After the first Other Festival 2015 and Bongkar fest in 2016, Kaki Seni again brought The Other Festival 2017 which was held for six days from September 5 until 10 where the fest celebrated and united all forms of the arts and were held free for the public in Ipoh’s hottest tourists spots.

During the launch held at HOS at Kinta Riverwalk, head of Kaki Seni and no stranger in arts performing, Low Ngai Yuen thanked everyone who were involved especially Tourism Perak for being supportive towards all Kaki Seni’s events,

“I never expected that we would still have the chance to come back every year to Ipoh and to have yet another arts festival here. For this year of The Other Fest, we are collaborating with Ipoh’s arts and history community such as Projek Rabak and Ipoh World, to dare all visitors to discover a whole new side of Ipoh Old Town and Kinta Riverwalk with our exciting activities and art installation,” said Low during her opening remarks.

Representing Tourism Perak at the launching was acting Chief Executive Officer, Zuraida Md Taib who welcomed all the delegates from Kuala Lumpur and participating Ipohites for The Other Festival,

“In conjunction with Visit Perak Year this year, we are happy to see The Other Festival again. For the past years, we’ve been receiving a huge number of both domestic and international tourists visiting Perak and hopefully with The Other Festival (TOF), we get to see more tourists visiting,” added Zuraida.

Writer and performer, Wani Ardy was the curator for the literature-related events for the festival and it was an eye opener. TOF’s literary gigs began with an open discussion on September 5 entitled ‘Ma, I Wanna Be A Writer,’ with Paul Gnanaselvam and Jack Malik. The two writers together with Wani discussed writers’ dilemmas in getting approval from the ones who are close to them such as family and friends.

While Paul grew up loving the world of linguistics and literature, it was Jack Malik’s story that stole the attention of the crowd.

“It took me six years of studying culinary arts to make me realise that although I love food, literature is my true calling. And I must thank my parents for understanding and being supportive of my decision to change path,” added Jack who also presented his piece ‘Sajak Jak Jak’ before the session started.

Another interesting literary gig at TOF was the special ‘Creative Writing For Kids’ session with Azalia Suhaimi. Founder of Littlest Hands where she hosted a number of workshops, art classes and storytelling sessions for kids, Azalia, better known as Teacher Yaya’s session is proof that despite it being tiring, the result of seeing how well the kids wrote poems was worth it. Azalia guided them on how to write poems about chocolates and the kids seemed to really enjoy the process. Among all the literary gigs happening during TOF, this was the one that hopefully will come again next year and attracting bigger crowds!

Other events curated by Wani Ardy were writing workshops such as ‘Writing Through Illustration” with Kullest Fafa and ‘Blackout Poetry’ by Aisyah Rais; several talks such as  ‘Orang Ipoh Malas Baca Buku’ (Ipohites are lazy to read) by Syed Omar and Nazir Harith and  ‘The Viral Era’ by Ista Kyra and Sukhbir Cheema, and an open mic session entitled ‘Tibai: A Poetry Open Mic’ hosted by Wani Ardy herself.

Curated by Mohd Jayzuan, one of the founder of Projek Rabak, TOF also catered to the needs of music fans when they held several music sessions such as Busker After Dusk and Supper Sonic Session held at Kinta Riverwalk, Yasmin at Kong Heng and KTM Square throughout the festival at 6pm and 9pm. Among musicians involved were Petak Daud, Shizuka, Hafiz Chai, Meor Hailree, Gunta Loho, Lady Sheera, Ippie Gomas, Bloody Mary, Skillzow, Radiowave and Mosca Embassy.

Ipoh World also took part in the festival with a special heritage exhibition held at Sepaloh Art Centre and conducted the Ipoh Larut Malam (Midnight’s Ipoh) with Commander Ian Anderson (Rtd), the Managing Director of Ipoh World himself, who took visitors around Ipoh’s old town and explained the interesting history behind each building and how Ipoh used to be.

“It was amazing to know about the history of Ipoh through Ian. Not only did my friends and I enjoy the tour, we also gained new information such as the story of Han Chin Pet Soo and Ho Yan Hor museum,” said Aizad Izzudin, 28, who attended the tour on Sunday.

Kudos must also be given to Farah Hani, the sole performer for The Temporary Theater: Gadis Jalan Burmah (The Jalan Burmah’s Girl) held for three consecutive days from September 7 until 9. The story, written by actor and scriptwriter, Redza Minhat, was about a lady named Kartini Shuib, a 42-year-old, who was deliberating if she should date an insurance salesman at her mother’s suggestion. As the story unfolds, Kartini reminisced about her previous love stories and life. Farah Hani’s amazing performance gathered a full-house during each session!

The light installation and glow in the dark murals at Kinta Riverwalk were also displayed exclusively for the festival. With no entrance-fee, TOF is yet another art festival that deserves more attention not only among the art communities but also Ipohites who crave for exciting events. Hopefully Kaki Seni will come again next year with even more interesting slots and sessions!

Ili Aqilah

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