PUSHING BOUNDARIES – “MOTHER NATURE”
SUBCLTURE X FIREZSKI
The people we surround ourselves with are the biggest influence on our behaviour, attitudes and results. Who you are around and what they got you thinking, saying, doing and becoming — sets the course of your life. Jim Rohn once said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The people you spend the most time often shape who you are. The conversations tend to dominate your attention. They affect to which attitudes and behaviours you are regularly exposed to. The story behind the creation of our newest product were along those lines for Shukri Samsuri founder of Subclture – spending the bulk of his youth with friends who have been into subcultures like graffiti, visual arts, skating, music and surfing. As well as and Firdaus Samsudin founder of Fireszki who have been in the skate industry for awhile. We had a quick chat with them and we’ve got some juice!
FIRDAUS SAMSUDIN / @FIRESZKISKATES
1) Give us a quickie on why, how and when Fireszki started.
I started skating in 1996 and started judging skate comps in 2011. Fireszki kickstarted in September 2014. I have always wanted to start a skate brand since 2010. I was thinking more about the future. Physically, I don’t think I would be able to do crazy stuff anymore haha. But I wanted to stick close to what I love. It wasn’t until my mate, Hairulzain, a skater from Malaysia presented me with contacts I actually needed. That motivated me to take that step and felt that, yeah sure, let’s do this!
2) You used to skate competitively from the 2000s, what are your hopes for the local skate scene now?
I feel that Singapore scene is a little dispersed and scattered now. Skate spots are less lenient so it boils down to where you live so it (the scene) may appear stagnant. I am hoping one day everyone, no matter what crew you represent, can skate together and have fun. Participate in each others’ event and maybe grow together and expand.
3) What does the quote on the deck means to you?
“Sabr (Patience) and faith are the real keys to success.”
It is a gentle reminder for myself and to share with everyone. In skateboarding (and business) world, everyone wants to be good but when things get hard, people tend to take the easier route of giving up. I feel that it isn’t so much about how long it takes as long as you keep trying bit by bit. Everyone’s timeline is set differently. Believe in yourself and keep going. It’s a long road so be ready for it.
4) How do you apply Slow & Steady to your own life?
Personally life to me, is all about taking risks everyday. You always have choices to make. So you need to calculate a lot of factors before diving in. I like trying new things when I feel the itch but the term Slow & Steady keeps me grounded. I am reminded to not rush the process.
SHUKRI SAMSURI / @SUBCLTURE + @THEPROJECTPIXEL
What motivates you to continually make photos all these years?
I am just constantly curious and I enjoy the process of manipulating the camera buttons. I kinda got into this thing where I want to see what I can bend. Being able to execute what’s in my head motivates me. I just go with the flow and my mood. If it’s a good photo, cool. If its a bad one, cool too. Before I had a camera, I knew I wanted an outlet for expressions. I am not good with words. So I like to express myself through visuals. I like to layan diri sendiri (entertain myself) sometimes and see what comes out of it haha.
What is your go to camera gears and why?
I have been loyal to Canon since day 1. 300D with kit lens 18-55mm. I really abused that camera to shit. I didn’t know what I was doing. 100% exploration. 100% self-taught. No sense of “proper guidelines” of composition and lighting. Then I fiddled with 50D, 5DM2, 5DM3 and 1DX. But personally, lens play a greater role rather than the body. My heart lies with 85mm.
Some photographers say that they see the world differently and that they have a different perspective on life.
What is your perspective on the world and on life?
I travel because that is the best way to learn about myself in different scenarios. I get to see beautiful things everywhere because the details I get to witness outside of this red dot are not what I grew up with. You just have to open your eyes more. This is also a personal reminder – Be appreciative of your advantages in life. Sometimes you gotta be okay with what you have and work with that.
Which photographers influenced you?
Easily, Chris Burkhard. The photos he produces displays his lifestyle so genuinely. Effortless and versatile. (While flipping through Distant Shores – Surfing the ends of the earth), look at all these dope shots! His creative efforts always surfaces. Always finding ways to express himself through different mediums. He is my idol haha. More than just a photographer. He is an artist. He made me realise you can be more than just a photographer. Why limit yourself to a label? Another one would be Brooke Shaden. Her post process works often makes me stop to wonder. Dark and quirky. Not everything is made up of rainbows and butterflies.
How does your friends come into the picture?
Starting graffiti in 1997 was one of the main doors to the adventures I am in now. I don’t for once claim that I am a skater but the scene was just filled with incredible people who were into their own crazy stuff. 90s for me was quite the highlight. I guess being able to express oneself does it for me, even better through the street culture. We all went through moments where we had to “vent” and I think it is inspirational that I am surrounded by mates who do it creatively. I always have these what ifs floating in my head. When I got down with Firezski, it made sense. With one of the still standing skate brands in Singapore, he understood that creating is always necessary. And here we are in 2019 where we would put courage and creativity through producing these limited edition decks.
How do you see yourself using photography to do things out of the box?
You know what is a waste? After that effort of making photos, at best, most are only uploaded to social media platforms. What if I put my work on a different medium? I have been mulling over that even before Subclture started. This drop is about taking risks, exploring presentations and appreciation of all things subculture – One project at a time.
The end product is a mash up between the skateboarding life and adventure photography that compliment each other. We have always wanted to approach photos on different mediums and we could not have been happier with this fusion. From the photography aspect to the detailing of the wood grain on the board to depict elements of the Earth. Our newest addition is not only meant to be shredded on the streets but can be spilled into deco – Home Street Home. We definitely encourage you to explore beyond the norms! This skate pack includes one deck, an exclusive long sleeve print t-shirt and sticker. A fraction of the decks has been shipped off to Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia so… You know the drill – Hit SHOP HERE if you dig this effort!