Ipoh Echo & Wani Ardy

1. How did the idea of Rumah Ipoh come up?

I have always been the kind of girl who does a million things at one time. I'm happy when I'm busy. So when I had to move to this laid-back town called Ipoh, away from the big city where I socialised all the time and did all sorts of creative work, I had a hard time to adjust. I love Ipoh for how it makes me feel like I'm living in the 90s (the 90s has always been my favourite era) but the nonchalant environment was just too overwhelming for me sometimes. I needed to keep myself busy, meet people, do things. I was inspired by Rumah Titi in KL and Rumah Sanur in Bali which are managed by my good friends in the art scene, Zulhabri Supian and Farhan Azahan of Frinjan. I told them I wanted to do the same and I'm very grateful that they support me.

2. What is the actual aim of Rumah Ipoh?

To be honest? To help me pay the rent. I have always loved old houses with character - wooden floor, white wall, unfinished look - but back in Selangor, the old houses in PJ are so expensive. I used to drive around PJ just to daydream about living in them and what I'm going to do with them. I'm not into big houses, no- I like spaces with personalities. In Ipoh they're cheaper but still slightly above my monthly budget, so I thought- hey, a bed and breakfast could help me get the extra ringgit I need!

3. What is Boco?

Boco is a creative market and a performance platform. We have local creative entrepreneurs selling their products; books, arts and crafts. We also have local singer-songwriters, poets and monologuers on stage, sharing their original work with the audience. Every edition of Boco is different; sometimes we have discussions and launches too. We don't stick to the exact same set of vendors and performers. We embrace everyone. Mainstream, independent- whatever. We don't care about labels.

4. When did Boco start and is it done every year?

Boco began in 2008 by the name Hari Bintang Jatuh and for the first few years it was held annually. In 2011 when I returned home from my postgraduate studies in Sydney, I rebranded it to Pasar Boco which focuses on books, arts and crafts bazaar instead of a general marketplace. We organise it 3 to 4 times every year to maintain a good momentum and a faithful crowd. The next one will be in Ipoh - our 18th edition - at O'oi & Comrades Mansion on 27th of August 2016, 12pm till 10pm. Come!

5. How do people join and be part of the Boco team?

Everyone is welcome to join in either as a vendor, a performer, or a volunteer. Just send us a message on fb.com/pasarboco :)

6. What would your advise be to anyone at all who wants to write but don't have the confidence to?

Write for yourself. You don't need any confidence when you write for yourself. The only reason you worry about confidence is because you think too much of the world, of other people. Don't go there yet. At this point, you don't need to. Start a private journal, a secret blog, a personal diary- whatever that works for you to start writing. Confidence doesn't happen overnight, yes, but continue believing that one day it will happen in you. That is enough for now. Stick to your pace. Take one step at a time.

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