We speak to one of Singapore's most mesmerising poets and performers Marc Nair on his upcoming show "Green Is The Colour Of My Heart" featuring sonic shamans .GIF and visual master Jun Han.
1. How you would describe this show?
"Green is the Colour of My Heart" is a 1 hour show that crosses genres, definitions and asks questions that have no easy answers. It is about the environment and our place in it. It is a melange of sound, image and text that very much reflects our own complicated lives. We live in a complex world, where the overwhelming impulse is towards materialism and consumption but at the same time, this breeds replication and mass production, which then subverts our urge to remain unique and in some way retain meaning. So it is a negotiation, and one that is ever evolving.
2. What is one of the questions with no easy answers?
What does it mean to be environmentally conscious when we will not refuse plastic containers, plates and cups?
3. "We consume, produce what cannot decompose" is an excerpt from your show description. What are some of your own green habits that you can suggest for other people to adopt?
Great question! It's always easier to preach and not practice, but we (my wife and I) do our best to recycle. My household regularly runs out of plastic bags because we always bring a tote bag or packable shopping bag everywhere we go.
We've also taken to carrying a spork and bamboo straw everywhere we go.
Bring our own containers to buffets - not to tabao, mind you, but simply as a eco-friendly substitute to Cornware or plastic plates.
We also refuse to patronise food stalls that serve food on styrofoam plates. Sounds extreme, but that's us exercising choice to live out greener lives.
Inspiring choices, I love them. I've googled that it can take 500 000 to 2 million years for styrofoam to decompose.
4. I'd love to hear how the artistic process of collaborating with .GIF and Jun Han has been. Care to share any challenges or positive experiences you had?
It's been very fun. .gif and Jun are easy to work with. They understand the sentiment and layers beneath the poems and create a sonic and visual landscape that add depth and complexity to my words without overwhelming them.
I sent the text to .gif beforehand, and they sketched out some musical ideas which we fleshed out while we jammed. For Jun, it was always a conversation about what is appropriate in terms of capturing the spirit of the poem. So for most of the poems (unless they already had specific imagery), we went with something that was emotive rather than direct.
5. How much are tickets and where do i get them from?
Tickets are SGD $20 and you can click the link below to buy them. Use discount code "GREENHEART" to get 20% off.
6. So you just went to perform in a Malaysian festival. How did you end up there and what did you end up doing?
I performed in Kuching two years ago as the invited guest of Wordsmiths of Kuching, a monthly spoken word collective, and so they invited me back this year to join WAK. "What About Kuching" (WAK) is a community driven festival covering a range of genres from music, to dance to literary arts and theatre. Events take place throughout the month of October in the city centre of Kuching.
On top of being a feature act, I conducted a workshop on poetry and photography, gave a talk on the creative process in writing and most importantly, gave a full-length solo book performance of my new collection of poetry, "Vital Possessions." I performed poems with my guitar and a looper, and I think it was the first time the audience had seen a poet with a looper!
7. Tell us more about "Vital Possessions"
Vital Possessions was launched in August. It contains poems and photographs that are mostly about Singapore, and question, at heart, the things that are important to us. I write about supertrees, about the plight of foreign workers and about stepping on snails, amongst other things. It is an interrogation of our better (or poorer) natures through the spectrum of human experience.
8. What artistic plans for the year ahead for Marc Nair?
It's been an intense year, and I'm kind of glad that it's coming to an end. But before that, I have a solo exhibition of photography and haiku called Slide & Tongue that opens on 25th October at Intersections Gallery. Click image below to find out more.
I have a small gig at Shantanjali Festival of Arts on 28th October
I have a few events at the Singapore Writers Festival in November.
Thank you so much. Super looking forward to Saturday.