Thursday, February 8, 2018

Ayam Fared & Layang

I have interviewed actor, director and writer Ayam Fared who talks about his latest production. Here is the full story 

Headline: Going Beyond The Norm 
By Bissme S 

For a theater performance that is adventurous, different, and exciting, catch Layang, being staged tomorrow and Sunday, at new community arts initiative KongsiKL, located in Taman Goodwood, Kuala Lumpur. 
KongsiKL, housed within a large industrial warehouse, offers a fluid, versatile set-up that encourages audiences to move around the performance area. 
Produced under the banner of Main Wayang, Layang is a multimedia performance that incorporates various elements such as physical theatre, shadow play, visual effects, virtual reality and electronic soundscapes, within a minimalist structure. 
Main Wayang believes strongly in making theatre performances accessible to the public. In keeping with this belief, entrance to the Layang performance will be free, in the hope of attracting a more diverse audience, and not solely theatregoing enthusiasts. 
The show only has three members – writer-actor-director Ayam Fared who is also the sole performer in the production, visual artiste Fairuz Sulaiman, and musician Sudarshan Chandra Kumar. Ayam says: “Some will label  our production as ‘experimental’. But personally speaking, we do not like giving labels to our performance.” 
In fact, Ayam – who won best director at the 2012 Boh Cameronian Arts for his prison play Short Eyes – sums up Layang as a performance where the artistes are trying to find a medium to communicate with each other and the audience. 
He admits the way they are presenting this production is not the norm in the Malaysian theatre scene, but adds that they are always seeking alternative ways to tell stories without the use of a huge cast and crew. 
“As artistes, we must never stop finding new ways to tell our stories, and we must never stop asking questions about ourselves and about our craft.” 
To elaborate, Ayam says: “For example, if you are a painter, you must ask yourself: are you only a painter if you have an exhibition? When you do not have exhibition, do you still paint?” 
The one-hour show will explore the themes of migration, displacement, and isolation. 
“The show will follow one particular character who is searching for a society where he can be himself,” he says. 
“All of us are directly and indirectly searching for a place where we can be real and not feel disconnected and alienated. 
“We are not providing any answers in this play. Sometimes, our job as an artiste is to create questions. I feel we do not ask enough questions.” 
Ayam frequently dabbles in bold, avant-garde performances. So does he hate everything that is commercial? 
He says: “These days if you are in a commercial world, you will be asked how many followers you have in your social media. I do not want to lead that kind of life. I do not want my life to be just a series of captions on Instagram. I am exploring life. I am trying to find what is real, and what is suitable. If I walk in the commercial world, I think I will not be allowed to explore life.” 
When asked the biggest misconception about him, Ayam laughingly says: “They believe I love to be edgy, experimental and to push boundaries. “In reality, I just want to live a simple, happy life without much struggle.”

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