Machineast, the creative Asian duo, lands itself an appearance at OFFF 2016

Rezaliando from Malaysia and Fizah Rahim from Indonesia met each other when they were in their mid-teens at the design school they both attended at the time. The connection and mutual understanding between them developed so naturally that it is almost as if they were pre-destined to become best friends, forge a joint career where they are always in constant collaboration and end up founding one of the most promising, active and surprising creative studios of our time: Machineast.

From this creative laboratory based in Singapore, they carry out spectacular projects where art and design are in perfect harmony; they maintain a continuous dialogue in a very specific aesthetic language which has caught the attention of international brands such as Sony, Nike, Heineken, Ministry of Sound, MTV and many more. It is not surprising that their projects explore fields like digital art, 3D art, illustration and art multimedia; they transition seamlessly between abstraction and the dreamlike nature of surrealism; they make it clear – on many occasions – that they are children of the 80’s and passionate lovers of color and music.  In preparation for their upcoming appearance in the OFFF Festival, we have interviewed Ando and Fizah to learn more about them…

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  1. When and Why did you decide to join forces and start working together? 

Back in 2001, both of us enrolledd in the same design college. We became best friends when we both chose multimedia design as our major during the second year. So collaboration to us came as a natural thing since we practically grew up together from teen to adulthood. We are lucky that both of us are somehow on the same wavelength regarding things we like. After studying, we went to work in the same motion graphic studio in Malaysia. Four years later we work together again in another Singaporean company. After that, we decided to head separate ways and join different commercial studios. However, during this time, we decided to collaborate on personal projects under the name Machineast. After a year, we decided to do Machineast full time.
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  1. Are you both from Singapore? What kind of inspiration offers this city/country?

I’m from East Malaysia and Ando is from Indonesia. Both of us grew up in a small town environment. We moved to Singapore in the belief that this city can offer better challenges and opportunities to us creatively. We also love the fact that everything here works. So you could focus on creating instead of worrying about a lot of unnecessary things.
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  1. How does the music influence you? In Which way does?

Music stimulates our creativity. When we are working on our personal or commercial projects, we will listen to a playlist that relates to the feeling of the project that we wanted to emulate visually. For example, when we worked on Heineken – Party As One project, electro dance music were on heavy rotation in our studio. Our music genre ranges from hip-hop, jazz, 80s funk, pop, etc. Whatever sounds good.

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  1. Machineast’s projects are in between art and design, Which side do you feel more identified?

At this moment, it would be a balance between both worlds. Art and design are different. Art is selfish while design is caring and more about problem-solving for other people. We do believe that these two things have to go hand in hand to keep progressing and moving forward skillfully and conceptually. Without doing art which is our personal projects, we felt burnt out as a designer.

  1. What is your modus operandi?

Both of us have a slightly different way of working at the beginning stage. Ando usually would sketch his ideas on paper. Meanwhile, I would visualise and conceptualise things in my mind and right away do them once I am in front of my computer. I hardly sketch things out. There is no wrong or right way to do it. It is just what is most comfortable to each of us. We usually take turns art directing each other and problem solving each project. Our favourite tools would be Adobe Creative Suite and Maxon Cinema4D.

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  1. What is your most important work/project till date?

We recently finished a project for Nike Air Max Day 2016. It is one of the biggest projects that we have done as Machineast. The longest one too. Nike has been one of our dream clients to work with for a long time and we are blessed to have the opportunity to do so this year. We do hope that we would get to collaborate with more dream clients in the future.

  1. Is it your first time in Spain and OFFF? What do you expect to find in the festival?

Yes, it would be our first time to be in Spain. We are looking forward to meeting old and new friends there in Barcelona as well as getting inspiration from other speakers. Super excited to see the great architecture and design scene in Spain too!
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  1. Why did you choose as studio name Machineast?

Machinist means a person who operates a machine. This term resonates with us because we are on our computers most of the time when we are creating artworks. We are also from the east side of the world. So we combined those two words – machinist and east and we got Machineast.

  1. What you will ask to yourselves? What will be the answer to your own question?

What kind of projects do you want to do in the future?

If there is an opportunity, we would like to do an art exhibition. Also, we would like to see our design to be part of a brand campaign and be displayed at store fronts. It would be cool to see our 3D assets/elements in real life!