Can You Walk On Water?

Can you walk on water - Ion Michael Furjanic

Can you walk on water – Ion Michael Furjanic

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — If you live in Kuala Lumpur, you might have heard of Ion Michael Furjanic or seen some of his work. In fact, if you have been to Future Music Festival Asia, you would have definitely seen his absolutely recognisable videos as part of We Are KIX. He has not only worked on sound production for films such as Jesus Camp (which was nominated for an Academy Award), Manda Bala and Two Escobars, but has also been recognised for his interactive installations such as the Electric Tea Party and now, Can you walk on water?

On this occasion, our Nicholas Ng speaks to Ion Michael Frujanic who has made “walking on water” a reality. Known for his skills at manipulating every day objects by translating them into things and ways you would never have imagined, this artist will definitely surprise you.

Your previous works have always appealed to the senses, from sound production on films, to visual productions and now, non-newtonian fluids. What pushes you?

I think it takes a while as an artist to really hone in on what your perspective is and what you really want to say. Just in the last few years, I have realised that all my art has the same pattern. It revolves around stripping away thinking, analysing and critiquing, and just experiencing in the moment. Celebrating being a human together.

With film scoring, I have always tried to meld the music so well into the story that it almost seemed like it was not even there… or that it was coming from the characters’ subconscious. Making our own films at We Are KIX, we always try to take the viewer on a journey of new ideas that just keeps you wide eyed and engaged. This new area of events for us is really a blend of all these ideas into something that is so real and amazing.


Of all the projects that you have done, which excited you the most?

I have to say, the Can You Walk on Water? event is really on a different planet for me from the rest of the things we have done in the past. There was something special in the air that day. People were doing something they had never even seen or touched before. You could see it on their faces and their body language. Real emotions and real hard laughter and smiles.

I actually wanted to write “A once in a LIFETIME EVENT!” on the promo materials, but it seemed way too cheesy. But if you really think about it… The youngest kid who ran across and played in the water was about 3 years old. What are the chances they are going to run on an 8,000 litre pool of Oobleck* again in their lifetime? Those are the kind of moments I want to create in Malaysia, completely unique experiences.

*Oobleck is a non-newtonion concoction of corn starch and water that exists in a semi-solid state.

Tell us about your project, “Can You Walk On Water?” How did you come up with it?

Can you walk on water? was something I actually wrote in my sketch book about 3 or 4 years ago. I had seen some crazy Italian TV shows that had an Oobleck pool. As soon as I saw it, I thought “I wish I was there, I would do a flip, I would dance on it, I would play football on it…” So many possibilities!

I never thought I (or We Are KIX) would be able to make it happen, but one day we had a meeting with an awesome team over at MACH by Hong Leong Bank. They seemed to want exactly that kind of energy and spectacle, so I suggested this project. Then, it snowballed from a video into a massive public event

You had a burgeoning career in the film industry for sound production, whats the next thing thats on your plate?

I feel like I’ve already lived a whole life, and now I’m on my second! From living in Brooklyn and scoring documentaries (Jesus Camp, Manda Bala and Two Escobars are some of my favorites) to living in KL and having a film company. Even though I don’t score so much anymore, I always stay connected to music. That is one of the reason I love KIX. All of our videos have an intense amount of music and sound in them. I’d say 90% of the time I have a soundtrack in my head for the video before we start editing. I will layout the track with all the FX and music changes and then edit the visuals to the music.

Next up for KIX is a much needed break, so we can recharge and plan for destruction. We just hired another great team member and we are in talks to film all the Future Music festival dates both here (KL) and in Australia in 2014. It is a giant job, but we already have some epic shots planned. After that, we are definitely going to do some more public art events in KL. Even bigger and weirder. Eventually we are going to make our own content both short form insane stuff and films.

Fashion and Art. What do these words mean to you?

“Fashion” to me is just a wearable art. People tend to hate those who like to dress up all elaborate and weird (and there is some justified critique about having to be rich to buy clothes), but for the most part, I just love when people express something with their clothes. “Art” is everything. The internet has taken an axe and sliced art in half. Art does not have to happen in galleries any more. Art does not need to exist in any standard format. Art can not even be taught like it used to be.

The way I see it:

  • Roti Canai flipping perfectly… Art.
  • Collecting all your hair your ever had cut… Art.
  • Photoshopping an actress falling down into random scenarios… Art.
  • Someone’s bouncing head, trying to stay awake on the train… Art.

Art is everywhere and everyone is an artist… you just have to work hard and do it. You can find out more about Ion’s work here and here.

Can you walk on water - Oobleck

Can you walk on water – Oobleck

Courtesy of: Ion Michael Furjanic  |  Photography by: Ion Michael Furjanic & We Are KIX  |  Website: www.  |  Edited by: Elizabeth Deheza
Nicholas Ng About the author

Perpetual master of words bringing Southeast Asia to your fingertips. With a LLB and LLM from the UK, The FG Magazine is just one of his many talents. Head of Public Relations at a marketing agency by day, freelance writer by night, he is always looking out for the next cause célèbre.