Project: Alive turns KL bohemians into hot topic
BY STEVEN PATRICK
Tattoo artists, sculptors, dub-step DJs, owners of cosy coffeeshops that stimulate conversation... No, these aren't scenes from New York's Greenwich Village. It's all right there at our doorstep, Kuala Lumpur, and now there's a short film called Project Alive: My that's become one of the hottest trending Malaysian videos on YouTube.
The film profiles creative people with a taste for the unconventional. There's coffeehouse owner Tsar Tajuddin, sculptor and painter Donald Abraham, tattoo artist and photographer Julian Oh, singer and songwriter Guba, club DJ H3 and menswear designer Silas Liew.
The video on KL's subculture was made to coincide with the launch of the Project Alive website (alive-my.com), which seeks to highlight unconventional and forward-thinking individuals. The director of the Project Alive:My video said he wanted to show people with a passion for what they were doing.
"We wanted to show people who loved doing what they did and not just to make a living. We wanted people that were fresh and brimming with ideas. We found that very fascinating. We heard about them through word of mouth," he said.
Julian says tattoos help him make a living. "But when I first got into it, I didn't think about whether it would pay the bills or not. I did it because it felt right. I've been doing it for three years. Now and then I do private sessions."
Meanwhile, Tsar's coffeeshop in Plaza Damansara, called Mollydooker's Coffee, provides a Cheers-type environment where everybody talks to each other. She says her cafe started as a labour of love, and in the video claims that people come to her place for "conversation as a reason and coffee as an excuse".
"We serve single-origin coffee from Guatamela, Brazil and Ethopia. But more importantly, we introduce customers to each other and they end up having a conversation," she says. Mollydookers, an Australian term for left-handed people, plays a range of music from jazz to grunge.
The director of the video is part of a three-member production outfit called Kix, which for personal reasons have asked to remain anonymous. They do, however, reveal that the average age of the team is 30. The project was initiated by Mercedes Benz.
Kix, only a year old, has already filmed high-profile events like 2011's Rockaway concert at Stadium Bukit Jalil and 2012's Future Music Asia festival in Sepang. It also produced the video for indie rock band One Buck Short's Carilah Duit.
Prior to Kix, the two men-one woman-Malaysian-American collaborators were part of KL's creative community for a decade, producing music and advertising work. The eight-minute-plus short film was recorded on cameras by Canon and Lumix, and took a month to produce and edit.
Published: 25th July 2012