THIS September in Johor, The Daily Seni and a gang of local creatives will head down to Mall of Medini, Nusajaya, and do a takeover. We’ve already got our own lot, and it’s going to be a lot of fun and games or potentially a disaster — here’s to hoping for the former.

Six showcases will be brought to life through a collaboration between musicians, artists and actors, all developed with our team over the course of eight weeks, on top of everything else we do.

These workshopped performances began as amusing, offbeat ideas, but they matured into little showcases we are proud to reveal. Titled KITARAN, our 2-day mini arts festival is a festival-within-a-festival, as it sits snugly in the heart of Johor arts and culture program ISKARNIVAL from 17 – 18 September.


When presented with the opportunity to produce an arts and culture event for ISKARNIVAL, we instantly thought of expanding upon both of our previous projects, namely and (1+RE)DISCOVER.

We’ve made it a point to push these artists into collaborations in order to develop them and provide them exposure. Collectives such as Sisiseni have been pushed to work with a set constructed by various artists, while choice voice actress Grace Ng has been paired with Api Husien of theatre collective The Lighters, for example.

This time however, we sought to empower artists and work with them throughout the development process. Equally importantly, we translated this opportunity into as many jobs as possible for the local performing arts scene and tried to compensate each talent fairly. As a result, KITARAN will result in the employment of at least sixty creatives throughout its process.

The site we’ve chosen is a lifestyle outdoor mall spanning two levels — one leading to the road back home, the other, Legoland — which serves decent food. Nearby is MMU, which has our favourite Faculty of Cinematic Arts at present, as well as the University of Reading and Newscastle University. All three are precisely a 10-minute drive away so students, there’s no excuse to be missing out.

We repeat: all this is happening in the middle of KREATIF, a massive collection of shows, workshops and other craziness happening in a single location in Johor. Here’s the down low of all that’s happening from 17 – 18 September at Mall of Medini, Nusajaya.

What’s happening?

Wayang Di Bayang (gig of shadows)

Initiated by singer-songwriter Jes Ebrahim with support from The Daily Seni, Wayang Di Bayang is a series of live music performances linked to an interactive installation space. This time round, Jes has rounded up ten musicians from around the country to give you another way of experiencing a performance — by making the most of our rich storytelling traditions and culture. Across two days, two separate lineups will perform in a visual tribute to shadow puppetry. We’re also going to be constructing shadow puppets to cast our stories onto the walls, and we’ll help you make some of your own too! Inspired by the traditional Malaysian art form of wayang kulit, Wayang Di Bayang premiered as work in development at Minut Init in April this year.

6:00 – 9:00pm | FREE | Put your shadow puppet story on Instagram and win a prize!

Saturday: Rozella, Budimen, More Than Me, Monsoon Market, and all the way from Bali, Indonesia, Paracetamol.
Sunday: Wani Ardy & The Guitar Polygamy, Lust, SKITS, Feel Tu Penting, and the guys behind “Mawar Khayalan”, Laila’s Lounge.

Kalangan (musical go-for-it)

In a world full of gorgeous visuals and syahdu sounds, why remain under the headphones? As a bonus from Wayang Di Bayang, come and join musicians and singers as they take turns to do a demonstration with the public’s assistance shortly before the main event. Featuring musical instruments and other sound-making objects gathered by The Daily Seni team in conjunction with Wayang Di Bayang, Kalangan will get you in the mood for melody and rhythm soon after the first bar. Acclaimed musician Endee Ahmad of Feel Tu Penting will lead both sessions.

4:30 – 5:30pm | FREE | Catch yourself playing alongside our musicians and win a prize!

Selamat Datang Tuan (strange world)

Transforming a bare shop space into an exhibition and performance venue are none other than visual art entities The Tomoe, Minut Init and The Keepers Studio. By using light installations, paper art and projections, Selamat Datang Tuan is a quiet, trippy retreat from a world demanding constant attention. This is also where you’ll be catching our theatre program during the afternoons.

12:00 – 10:00pm | FREE | Take a selfie with both “rectangle” and “reality” and win a prize!

Kapangan (super-ritual)

A devised performance piece by performer and voice actor Grace Ng (Macbett, 2 Houses) and young performance artist Api Husien (Dusk, Kenduri), Kapangan confronts life and death with vivid imagery, physical movement and audience participation. This brand new work is a mystery and a solution in itself, taking root in Selamat Datang Tuan and making a reach for the outside world. Be part of the process, unlock the meaning.

1:00-3:00pm | FREE | Participate in the ritual and win a prize!

Zombi Serang Johor (zombie apocalypse)

Arguably the most popular topic on the internet in the past decade, a zombie attack is every sci-fi nerd’s greatest fantasy — where else can one dream to prove their survival skills? In this outbreak led by Sisiseni, a group of mall-goers get trapped in a precarious situation which just seems to keep getting worse. They must rely on a select few, whose motives remain unclear throughout the panic. Directed by Nawfal Zamri, whose excellent Kau Rasa? soared in Studio Revolution Stage last weekend, Zombi Serang Joho is an explosive, exclusive, immersive adaptation of Sisiseni’s popular Zombi Serang… series.

3:30-4:30pm | FREE | Make it out alive from the ordeal and win a prize!

Kayangan (song “structures”)

This creative busking session consists of several things including contemporary Nusantara musicians, visual art, and existential crises. From artists within installations to artists-installations, this showcase serves up four major questions: “Mana”, “Bagaimana”, “Kenapa” and “Siapa”. Each segment will be carried by a different musical act and set in different parts of the premises, but benefit from The Daily Seni and The Keepers Studio’s visual artistry. This The Daily Seni original is also fortunate to feature Jes Ibrahim’s very own Monsoon Market alongside Johorean rapper Kayczar and Gombak-based heartthrob KimalogyKayangan also has the benefit of collaborator VMPRMYTH who will be helping us put the audiovisual puzzles together. Among things to do in Kayangan include creating your own live stereo sound system, and peeking through doors to whole new spaces.

Siapa: Kayczar | 12:00 – 1:00pm
Mana: Kimalogy| 1:00 – 2:00pm
Bagaimana: Paracetamol | 2:00 – 3:00pm
Kenapa: Monsoon Market | 3:00 – 4:00pm

12:00-4:00pm | FREE | Be the first one to catch all four and win a very, very special prize!

Getting there

From Kuala Lumpur: Nusajaya is not the “eight-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur” some of us imagine it to be! According to Google Maps, hop onto Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan and it’s a three hour drive to Gelang Patah and another few minutes to Mall of Medini. In fact, the last time we went over, it took only four hours despite the number of food stops along the way. Don’t have a car? Wake up early enough for the daily 7:00am bus to Legoland from Royale Bintang on Star Hill and you’ll arrive at Mall of Medini just minutes before KITARAN premieres! But if you simply don’t have the time, grab a flight to Senai Airport, then hop onto the JPO2 bus which takes you from the airport to Mall of Medini in 65 minutes.

From Johor Bahru: The LM1 bus from JB Sentral is only a 60-minute ride away to Mall of Medini! Buses back to JB Sentral runs until 8:00pm too but if you’re already living in Johor, chances are you’d have your own car (Johor has the highest ratio of cars to the population).


And the best part? All of this is being presented as part of something even grander.

ISKARNIVAL happens on both dates and will see a mammoth selection of happenings from daring magic shows to sound experiments with Akhyla and a workshop with HANDS Percussion — think YSDAF but a bit cooler, more unhinged, and located in Johor. There’ll also be The Daily Seni’s biggest film screening and discussion program to date with at least 16 films: you might as well start calling that one a film festival.

None of this would have been possible without Khazanah Nasional and UEM Sunrise, who continue keeping the festival going for another year. The Daily Seni would like to thank both parties for giving support to these creative Malaysian experiments and for presenting KITARAN under the ISKARNIVAL banner.

The Daily Seni will also be staying at the delightful Hotel Ariana @ Iskandar, which has very kindly extended their hand to our team and is a pretty neat place to stay if you’re looking for somewhere near festival grounds!

This edition of ISKARNIVAL, named KREATIF, will be followed by editions titled NARATIF and SAMA SAMA in October and November respectively. Time for a second home in Johor, maybe?

KITARAN takes place as part of ISKARNIVAL KREATIF from 17-18 September 2016 at Mall of Medini, Nusajaya, Johor. For all enquiries, please contact us at or drop us a direct message.

Presented by The Daily Seni, Khazanah Nasional, UEM Sunrise and Iskandar Investment. Programmed, produced and publicised by Deric Ect for The Daily Seni except for Wayang Di Bayang produced by Jes Ebrahim Izaidin and Zombi Serang Joho produced by Sisiseni Production. Set design and key artwork by The Keepers Studio. Communications and social media management by Shufitri Shukardi. Supported by Regalblue Production, Astro Citra and Hotel Ariana @ Iskandar.