ISSUE Interviews

In my time with ISSUE Magazine, I’ve been lucky to be able to interview some very interesting people – talents found in our own backyard in Malaysia, as well as those who have serendipitously found us from farther places. Some of these conversations end up as podcasts, while others end up as written pieces, featured below:

Nassim Soleimanpour for ISSUE #18 SKIN (April 2014)

Syar S. Alia interviews Nassim Soleimanpour

It was great talking to Nassim because he’s a playwright, a (former) poet, and he’s studied set design, which are three of my interests crammed into one articulate and sure person. We spoke of his travelling play, White Rabbit Red Rabbit, which has no director and performers who learn the script only when they step onstage in front of the audience, as well as his philosophies on writing and shifting the paradigms of theatre. Image via the White Rabbit Red Rabbit — Malaysia Facebook page.

Kazimir Lee for ISSUE #18 SKIN (April 2014)

Untitled work by Kazimir Lee

We really did find Kaz through an image of Slavoj Žižek on a totebag, and it resulted in his lovely drawing and also to us talking about how drawing people can be like catching Pokemon, different methods of procrastination in the process of making something, the feeling of wanting to crawl out of and escape your own skin and also all the other artistic Kazimir’s I ended up finding via Google. The interview is chocful of recommendations for things to watch, read and listen to, as well. You can find Kaz‘s work here

Shh…Diam! for ISSUE #17 BIRTH (February 2014)

ShhDiam ISSUE BIRTH Interview 3It’s a guarantee walking away from a day spent with happy-hardcore foursome Shh…Diam! will make you want to pick any instrument and start rocking out. Interviewing Farah, Jellene, Yon, and Yoyo was potentially the most fun I’ve ever had on assignment for ISSUE. The interview includes a video I shot and edited combining rehearsal footage and a live performance of their new song Guangzhou Girls at The Bearded Lady cafe in Subang Jaya in February 2014.

Joe Sidek, for ISSUE #15: HUNGER (October 2013)

Coming out of a one-hour conversation with Joe Sidek, director of George Town Festival and Tropfest South East Asia, left me dazed and inspired. He’s a really motivated, positive-thinking guy with a lot of belief, a lot of encouragement and a lots of faith in himself and others. We spoke about the hunger that drives the creatives in Malaysia and the ASEAN region, and how that hunger can be harnessed positively and negatively.

Nina Mouritzen, for ISSUE #14: YOUTH (August 2013)

Nina Mouritzen for ISSUE 14 YOUTH 2013I can’t tell you how floored I was that prolific and experienced photographer Nina Mouritzen contacted ISSUE with a submission. And for her to be so kind and generous as to agree to a pretty in-depth email interview was beyond any of my expectations. We spoke about her journey, outlook and process as a photographer, amidst her quiet but striking portraits and self-portraits. Nina‘s website is here.

Syahir Mohd Soffi, for ISSUE #14: YOUTH (August 2013)

Distracted by Syahir Mohd Soffi for ISSUE 14 YOUTH 2013Syahir‘s gorgeously visceral and surreal self-portraits (achieved through photography and digital editing) lead to our discussion of “the art of the selfie.” Check him out on Flickr.

Liyana Fizi, for ISSUE #11: MONEY (April 2013)

ISSUE 11 MONEY Interview with Liyana Fizi 2013Local independent musician Liyana Fizi was generous enough to speak to us about her journey from being a part of the band Estrella to her current gig as an independent solo artist, and the grittier financial aspects of her work and success. You can find out more about Liyana here.

Joshua Vettivelu, for ISSUE #8: LIGHT (January 2013)

Cut Drawings by Joshua Vettivelu for ISSUE 08 LIGHT 2013I spoke to Toronto-based artist Joshua Vettivelu about his cut drawings, the themes behind his work — specifically his preoccupation with the human body and its more grotesque aspects — as well as how one places cultural identity in relation to their art. You can find Joshua‘s work here.


Shorter interviews conducted via email: