Happy New Year! On behalf of Neue, I’d like to thank all our past #Neue9to5 interviewees and readers for their continued support. The Neue team will continue to work hard to get in touch with each and every single one of you – from all levels of society and around the world – so that you can share your stories and views.

This week, I had a chat with Richelle Ann, the Editorial Director of Hana Zine, a digital depository of the contemporary arts and culture scene featuring underground artists, subcultures and collectives in Brunei.

“I highlight and talk about alternative cultures and art scenes in Brunei with the other co-founder & creative director, Wryck. I mostly do the writing and research. I also resonate with the performing artist of life narrative for my existence,” she told Neue.

I had the pleasure of meeting her during a collaborative art show called “45/7: Alinea”.

Click on the photo to read Neue’s past article – “45/7: Where Art Comes To Life In Brunei”

Without further ado, let’s see how she tackles this week’s #Neue9to5 questions.

First 9 Questions:

1. What’s the last thing you did just for yourself?

It has been such a busy year end for myself that consuming any form of media, – books, TV shows, documentaries is a luxury for me. I finished a 3-hour documentary titled “Dont F**k With Cats” and it was something I enjoyed so much. It was an act of self-love to take the time to enjoy something I like through the hustle & bustle of life.

2. If you wrote a book, what’s the title and what would it be about?

Electric Feels: The Lives of Powerlines. I like the concept of inanimate objects being alive so I want to look at it from the perspective of wires and power circuits and how they live with a specific human.

3. What’s your proudest achievement?

Releasing the first issue of Hana Zine is one for the books. Being able to work with 45past7 is another one. Meeting so many creatives personally within the country and practising mine at the same time. All these things I never thought I could do but did.

4. Go back and see your younger self or meet the future you? Why?

Definitely meet my younger self! Most of the inspiration I get for my art are experiences I’ve had when I was younger. She’s my best compass when I ask myself what I really want to.

5. What’s your favourite book and why?

The Quiet Ones by Glenn Diaz. He is a Filipino writer and was able to encapsulate the feeling of alienation as a working adult adjusting to and for an unjust society. The setting in which the book is in was also done so vividly it felt like I was in the story. He also was the door that made me want to explore more Asian writers to read.

6. What’s the most difficult part of your writing process?

Definitely letting go of my expectations for myself. Sometimes I write and it is not up to par with what I know I am capable of. It’s diminishing that aspect of my personal writing process and reminding myself I’ll get there, that I find most challenging. I really am my worst enemy.

7. What to do when you have writer’s block?

I like working in silence when I really need to get the most authentic thoughts, which I like the most, out of my head. Another thing is positioning myself under the sun or direct light above my head because for some reason, it just works. These two working conditions always bring me out of my writer’s block.

8. If you weren’t a writer, what do you think you would be doing for work?

I wish I could focus on writing as my actual profession but I do work as an accountant in “real life” which I enjoy too. I’d probably deal with numbers fully if I didn’t write as much as I do now.

9. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever written about?

For my personal language, there really is no such thing as a weird subject matter. Everything is anything.Last 5 Questions: 

1. Invent a word and give it a meaning.

Kilig, a feeling of overwhelmingly good vibes.

2. Would you rather be able to walk through or on walls?

I’d rather walk on walls. I like that sense of assurance that I won’t be walking into a wall with things I do not want to see, haha!

3. Live on any planet you want, what planet would you choose?

Ullodor, an aquamarine-hued planet with a comfortable atmosphere and has 12 moons. It is an equally wild and comfortable planet.

4. If you could claim any books you’ve read before written by you, which book would it be?

Bluets by Maggie Nelson.

5. What’s the most embarrassing moment you’ve had that you don’t mind sharing?

I have none! I have very thick skin at this point so all of my embarrassing moments are really just moments of my daily life, haha!

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