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Thinking and Talking about Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia

The working processes of artists: Bani Haykal

Artist, composer and musician Bani Haykal shares about his video work Trouble With Harmony, created in collaboration with art critic and writer Lee Weng Choy, as well as his other experimentations with text and music. In this video, directed and conceptualised by LASALLE students Rose Sutrina and Siti Nurlisa, he also articulates his thoughts about the word “intimacy” and its Malay counterpart “mesra”, as well as the influence jazz has had on his practice. [Bani Haykal also wrote an essay for ArtsEquator in 2019 about race and harmony in Singapore.]

“His thought processes were extremely interesting to us. During the whole interview we were amazed at how someone could think the way that he did. After understanding his fascination with languages better, I learnt that many words and phrases do get lost in translation,” say Trina and Lis of their experience.

The interview process was also eventful – Lis’ laptop died halfway through. “It was so apt, [it was while he] was explaining how much we now depend on our computers,” she said.

The interview can be found below, as well as on YouTube.

Between February to April 2021, BA in Arts Management students from LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, embarked on an artist documentation project as part of their module History & Contextual Studies. The first-year students were tasked with interviewing an artist to better understand an aspect of their practice, and to produce the result of the interview in the form of a video. The students were given creative freedom in how they executed the brief and shot and edited their videos. Five of the best videos are shown in partnership with ArtsEquator.


This interview with Bani Haykal is the first of a series of video projects in 2021 by BA Arts Management students of LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. For past videos in this series, click here.

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