I am passionate about making music, and categorically the practice falls under 'performing art'. I practice art as a way to raise questions, resist oppression, and a method of research. I believe that art has the potential of giving visibility to the unseen and amplify the voices of the marginalized members of society.
“…the world is broken, but that’s no excuse for us to do nothing.”
In an oligopoly where corporations govern the system, profit-making is a virtue. Humans getting pitted against other humans for the sake of survival, to compete for work and wages is a commonplace.
Competition and competitiveness is relentlessly praised and taught as the essential component to meritocracy and growth. But what good is growth, if hunger and homelessness persists even though it can be eradicated presumably with the use of available technology?
I work at the intersection of art and technology in hopes to produce works that bring visibility to various systemic problems (such as structural violence).
If opera is a particularly sophisticated example of interactive intermedia art and entertainment forms, it is an ideal conduit for inception of ideas and discourse.
Visibility and Space go hand-in-hand in the sense that space gives way to what gets seen.
Thus galleries, nightclubs, sound laboratories, classrooms, lecture halls, virtual platforms, theater and performance stages are focus of my interest.
They All Look The Same
Part of No Country for Old Rhetoric, a performance art piece about systemic aggression on minority groups, first herding them like cattle drive into check-off-boxes called race, then treating them as a 'clump' of aliens, not as individuals nor even human. This performance idea came about during the height of the 2016 elections, [cough] another kind of pandemic that took place. What went viral was hate, and it spread like wild fire in Southern California; corporate media was baiting people to hate left and right, and pitted the people of North America against each other.
This was a call to resist the systemically amplified xenophobia.
A still frame of They All Look The Same
No Country For Old Rhetoric
This is my protest performance as Xeno the Alien, a fictional character I spawned from my imagination.
Xeno is the physical manifestation of the legal term 'Alien'.
The performance took place at the Sproul Hall in UC Berkeley, the place where Mario Savio gave the famous speech "Operation of the Machine" in 1964.
As Donald Trump stoked the fire of racist rhetoric, I thought that Sproul Hall would be an appropriate place to express dissent.
For the performance, I used a portable semi-modular synthesizer to make raw oscillator noises to distill the immense (hate) energy and blasted them out of a portable blue tooth speaker (an imagery that emulates David vs. Goliath, a small underdog vs the giant status quo).
In post-production, I transposed archive footages from MSNBC denouncing Trump's xenophobic speeches; He calls Mexicans 'rapists', and blames the Chinese for "taking jobs away", brushing facts under the carpet, like American business owners are responsible, too, for giving the jobs away. Why does it feel like the blame game that the #ChineseExclusionAct1882 was?
In capitalism, exploitation is foundational and brutality is by its design. It glorifies/justifies competition and survival. Both parties involved in the transaction of "giving" the jobs away and "taking" the jobs up, is facilitated by capitalism. The point of this performance is not to point fingers (because the participants are not the only ones to blame), but to spotlight the contradiction of our political and economic system.
A performance piece in rememberance of Oscar Grant. I hope that more people would come to recognize the problems that are structural and see beyond localized perception, superficial and bigoted assumptions.
A collaboration project I worked on with UC Berkeley students. This is a two-part documentary film as a discourse on race. (2018)
1) A platform for discourse on xenophobia, capitalism, and mainstream media.
2) A place to find collaborators for making participatory art.
screenshot of the blog/website
Dynamic Performance Sampler (DPS), Semi-modular portable synthesizer, Pocket-sized drum machine, FX, and samplers.
The DPS ("Octatrack") can mangle audio and video via midi for hyper-sense communication.
Improvisation ready: sounds/samples/loops can be assigned to slots, midi-triggered, and its musical attributes can be manipulated in real-time (ex. pitch, tempo, trigger count, sample start and length). From there, the performer can apply effects to the rearranged loop, resample it, and start the cycle all over, if needed.
Expressive Video Synthesizer
The video below is a small-scale (prototype) multimedia show. I synced the Dynamic performance sampler (above) to a Python processor and connected that to a projector. This configuration allows the performer to improvise with video synthesis using gesture mapping (XY-pad), potentiometers, encoders, and 3-axis motion sensor // Visual programming & output used: Critter&Guitari ETC (Python processor) //
Hardware/controller: Roland TR-08, Teenage Engineering OP-1 // Software: Ableton Live, Max 4 Live
Below is an example of modes I used to create visuals for this performance (additional libraries such as pygame.freetype and pygame.gfxdraw were used):
The result is very simple — a red circle is drawn near the middle of the screen, each and every frame, forever. This example offers the basic framework for the modes written in Python. Though rudimentary, there is broad potential in its application.
A short film I produced, spotlighting the US legal lexicon and what is actually felt at the epicenter of its effects, by those that have gone through the immigration and assimilation process (2017)
What is the consequence of selling one's soul? How can one salvage the damage; how does one retrieve and revive it? (2014)
Story written by SRCFLP & Rigel Yaluk // Animation & Illustrations by Señor Danger // Vocals by Aimi Shibata // Edited by Rook Murao
Storyboard (protagonist confronting the inner demon 'The Dream Seller')
The story originally had the idea of being a live action narrative film. But due to constraints, I couldn't actualize a full feature, and this is a partial short reel.
"The Dream seller"w/ SRCFLP @ Low End Theory; the creature came thru the live. I was very stoked.
To me, this was the unofficial release party of my album HOURS (2016)
Another space that I forgot to mention above, is the comic book.
It's a great medium because the artist is allowed to paint the story, literally.
This story is about a protagonist discovering a mask with special powers; it transforms emotions into a powerful, gigantic beast called J-Zilla. Simultaneously a pun and homage (to J Dilla, the Hiphop producer/beat maker), I combined Japanese fictional characters and fan art that brings Godzilla to life with an American comic book aesthetic. Back to the story. Unbeknownst to the protagonist, the mask also absorbs 'hate-energy' that can manifest itself as city-destroying monsters. The protagonist must learn about the structural root of the hate-energy and master his own emotions to summon J-Zilla from the deepest part of his soul, and find ways to resolve hate-driven monsters. (2018-present)
Below: I used Photoshop and free hand drawing, to mock up a sequence of the protagonist coming to terms with the power of the mask.
Improvisational live performance using semi-modular electronic instruments (2018)
Rave event in Oakland, CA which I was responsible for performing music and installing interactive visual projection using video synthesis technique (2017).
A synopsis of my journey as a performing artist. (2006-2016)
After gaining experience in running an independent record label, I joined a larger production company to learn about scaling up the music business. After three albums and touring the country in the supportive effort, I took a brief hiatus to research how to scale down preserving only the essentials. When I returned, I changed my artist name to SRCFLP and formulated a cocktail of beats, noise & bass.
I co-founded a record label to produce an album for a multi-ethnic Hip Hop group, The Alliance, an artistic endeavor to express solidarity and address racial issues, police brutality, and unethical business practices. Through the experience, I learned about managing, performing, and producing in the music business (2003-2006).
Scion CD11 Label-less Lifestyle
It was an honor to be featured on this project. The liner note reads, “We’d like to introduce you to a generation of artists that are making names for themselves without major labels, superstar budgets, or Hollywood flair. Maybe one day they will, but for now, it’s 100% pure, no additives or preservatives, and just as good as everything else on the market. Welcome to the movement of the Labelless Lifestyle…”
This is a weekly TV show I produced featuring music and street culture. Airing for a year on a digital terrestrial station, the program featured artists and entrepreneurs of diverse ethnicities in Los Angeles, giving Asian Americans and other minorities the chance to share their experiences and involvement with various subcultures (2014)
Produced by: Rook Murao + Jared Chung Lundy ・Associate Producer: Nygle Gillett ・Hosts: Moriah Brown + Erika Mariko Olsen ・ Editor: Victor Hernandez ・ Music: SRCFLP・ Motion Graphics: Tu Trinh ・ Graphic Design: Miko Murao
The Media Remix
The goal of this series was to promote Los Angeles based artists and subcultures underrepresented in the mainstream media. (2006 - 2008)