Hafiyuddin Harpan, from Brunei to Kelvingrove

These windy days, when rain storms us all with the same intensity around Glasgow, we usually take refuge in pubs more than usual. 

Friends, reunite to talk, ladies who come for a coffee, students who intend to spend time studying extra, even children can stay until six or so, in the afternoon, as long as they are accompanied by an adult. 

You can see competitions, people advertising social causes, famous actors watching a Warriors game or the same players of the team, serving chats to fans, to have fun and get to know each other off the pitch. It’s magical  a pub, rain or Dennis Storm. 

Our next guest  is a clear sign of my words, as you are about to discover, he comes from an exotic country called Brunei, paints while studying and we met, guess how? in a pub on the famous Great Western Road, the city’s important social gathering point. 

Hafyiu Harpan is a charming person and has agreed to answer a few questions,  to quench the thirst for knowledge of the kind readers of  Misnich Magazine. 

With us, today, the Artist and its revelations.

1.1. How you have decided to come to Glasgow, why Glasgow in particular.

 I’ve decided to come over and study in Glasgow because Glasgow is in the list of top 100 universities, so why not? And I have to say the city really lives up to its reputation for the friendliest city round the world as the people there, in general, made other people and foreigners like me feel welcome – THAT is something I did not expect when I initially came here. 

2. 2. What you expected to find and what you found when you landed, your first impressions.

Apart from the cold weather in Glasgow, which is true for the rest of the UK, my first impressions, like I mentioned before, is how friendly the people. Also, the city itself – its not too big nor too small and I like it that way as it made my cycling trips a lot easier. Another first impression was just how cool the Buchanan street looks – the way it looks especially at night or when the sun is setting (twilight hours). 

3.3. What has struck you most about everything you’ve seen so far, what you see here very differently compared to your land.

What really struck me is how people, particularly the students, in general, can be so carefree, independent and proactive compared to those back in my country (no offense haha). Another thing that really struck me out is just how rainy and windy Scotland can be – making umbrella pointless to be used since they’re likely gonna break anyway, but the scenery – especially the countryside that is beyond Glasgow looks stunning that I might get myself a field easel, to do en plain air painting someday. 

4.4. What would you recommend of Brunei, if we were there, what we should see without fail, eat without haste or admire without measure.

I would try heading to the water village, which is located in the city of Brunei. There you could see beautiful view of places, like the mosque with that huge, golden dome. I would also try eating one of our signature dishes including nasi katok and soto kuning and even soto putih as well! Other than that, based on where I live in my country, I would try heading over to Jerudong park where there’s lots of stuff you can do – and then there’s Jerudong beach, where if I recall correctly, there should be a restaurant that serves delicious different kinds of food, like seafood and stuff, and you could around the beach in barefoot, just enjoying the sound of waves and the scenery it provides.

Image from Jerudong Park( click here) rights reserved.

5. 5. What’s your favourite food at home 

Carbonara, Maggi Kari, Maggi Goreng, Nasi Goreng with chicken and Kway Teow. (click here)

6. 6. And your favourite music ?

Oh, I’ve got loads of favourite music! Some of them songs from bands, like ABBA, Nekkuro Hana, Michael Kiwanuka, Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, Mogwai, the Beatles, etc. I’m a music person and I LOVE going to small venues where music gigs are often held, like the Blue Arrow, the Flying Duck, Broadcast, etc. 

7. 7. If you were to draw your life to date in three colours which would be. 

 Ultramarine, permanent deep yellow and purplish-red crimson. 

8. 8. What are your favourite painters? 

Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, Maxfield Parrish, Rembrandt, Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Edward Degas, and Francisco Goya. For drawing artists, it’s gotta be Alphonso Dunn, Katsuya Terada and Kim Jung Gi – these three does pen drawing stuff which I really like and something that I specialised in. 

9. 9. Of all that you have done, what is your favourite work.

It’s gotta be the oil painting that shows an area near the McMillan where you can see the main building of the University, located at the front of Fraser building. Another favourite of mine would be the drawing of Buchanan St. with sunset blue and other colours. Most of my colourful artworks have that Impressionism/Post-Impressionism influences. 

10. 10. Where you see yourself five years from now 

I have a rough idea where I’m gonna be in five years from now – like ideally, doing fieldwork on marine and ocean life since I’m doing Marine Biology as my degree or maybe in the lab or office while doing painting and stuff as my hobby. The challenging part for me is – will I get there? I’m still uncertain because, at some point, things might happen along the journey, as the journey really matters – not the end result if you know what I mean? 

11. 11. What you’d like to achieve

 I’d like to achieve the mood and atmosphere of my painting through the use of vibrant colours and quick dash of short strokes. I dunno what I’m doing every time I paint to be honest – I just go with the flow. 

I guess it’s the feeling and mood that I’m trying to convey. Say if I want to make a painting of a certain place in a chill mood, then I might as well use colour blue to convey that chill and relaxing mood and atmosphere then. Blue can also represent sombre, sad mood too but that depends on the context. 

I’m just trying to get by in life but I do have a desire to work with passionate folks for marine conservation in marine protected areas (MPAs) or tackling issues related with microplastics in the ocean that’s been poisoning marine life from surface level to deep level where mankind have least explored compared to Moon, Mars, space, etc. 

12. 12. If you were to be able to change something in the world, one aspect in particular, what would be.

A message to the world
Climate change is real and if you wanna provide quality of life and safer environment to your children and future generation to grow up in, then might as well respond to it – clean up the beach, park, any sorts of places through litter picking. Removing one big plastic is like getting rid thousands of microplastics – so putting away least one can make a lot of difference to the environment. Try to be sustainable too – try to grow your own plants or foods, reuse any plastic bags and bottles or just put them away into recycling bins. Another thing is, just go out and don’t waste your youth just by studying and studying especially when you’re in your 1st and 2nd year in the university where you have a LOT of free time before things get busier as you progress. Just go out – make friends, go to music gigs, go to arts exhibition, go to socials, talk with people, get involved in hanging out with friends, go to any events that you’re interested in shown from Facebook especially the ones that your friends are either interested in or going to, go to some places via train and then get off and start cycling to some places with your map, foods and drink at your disposal – just be adventurous and lively, but that’s my personal approach to life, so do whatever made you feel like your youth feels great and not go wasted.

13. 13. A few words to the Misnich. Newsletter audience.

A message to our readers
Whatever hobbies and interests you’re doing right now, just keep doing it and settle on which ones you like the most that you definitely gonna stick with. You’ll get better – its just the matter of how consistent you are. Like its easy to do one thing in a day, but its harder to keep doing it on daily basis. But I think its better to do at slow pace than nothing, don’t you agree? Degrees in Science, Medicine, Economics – these are the kind of things that’ll help you to live and sustain life, but as for hobbies and interests? these are the ones that’ll definitely stick with you for lifetime, keeping you happy and alive.

And remember, rejection is part of life – which in general can be from someone you like, companies that you really want to work for, from stuff that you wanna apply for, etc. etc. Just feel them – don’t suppress them – just acknowledge them and move on with your life – and then maybe try again. Life is what you make it – it can be simple or complicated. Its how you respond to them, y’know?. If you’re able accept and handle rejection, then I guess that makes you more mature than before cos with rejection, it might inspire you do something for yourself (like teaching yourself on how to play guitar, solo traveling, etc.) to be the better version of you and to gain more confidence, making yourself even more desirable in front of others and not to mention, opening up more doors that’ll lead to more opportunities.

All the images are reserved by © Hafyiuddin Harpan
   My facebook: Hafiy Harpan -> https://www.facebook.com/hafiy.harpan.5
My Instagram: @hafiyharpan -> https://www.instagram.com/hafiyharpan/


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