On the Couch with Jason Ng

Jason Ng AAR On the CouchWho is Jason Ng?
I am a musician, film and art producer, an academic and a migrant Australian. I grew up in Thailand and moved here when I was young. My family have all shared stories of migration (from China and New Zealand) and it has inspired much of my art and approach to academic research.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Hard to say. The ups and downs to get here, the sacrifices and accomplishments – it’s hard to see outside of where my life has already led me. I suppose I can see myself working in a role that empowers or supports young people to participate in the Arts.

Who inspires you and why?
Among the long list, are the people around me. I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by a great network of creative, enthusiastic and supportive people who are amazing at what they do. Notable mentions include the cast of this show; my academic mentors, Mark Gibson and Tony Moore; my close friend Swerv; the crew at 76M Films; the NAACALS collective; Jack Chang at Atlas Dining and, the Round Midnights band; to name a few. It’s easy to be inspired by things at a distance, what’s popular and being talked about, but when you can draw inspiration from your everyday, there is magic in that.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Changing the world is a big responsibility… I think what I can do is focus on the small things. Share my experiences with the young people like me and continue to make art that gives people opportunities to express themselves and hopefully go on to inspire others.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Tokyo. It’s one of the most interesting places I have been able to explore and research. One essential thing that I like in Japan is that there is a deep appreciation of craft. You can take a concept that may be so outside the collective mainstream and execute it there and still have a place to give it life and an audience to enjoy it.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Local venues for music and dining. Horse Bazaar is one of my favorite places, it not only sports a number of imported Japanese whiskeys but Taka and Fumi are among the best venue owners in Melbourne. They are always so personable and give a lot back to the music community by supporting emerging artists and are important connectors of the underground Hip-hop scene here.

What are you currently reading?
My PhD thesis haha.

What are you currently listening to?
There’s this up-and-coming duo that are just about to pop in Melbourne. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak of their new single Swerv & Rahel – Used To ft. Jordan Dennis. It’s going to be great!

Happiness is?
That’s a difficult question to answer honestly. For me living in the present moment is something hard to achieve and playing and creating music or art is how I connect to those moments of clarity. I suppose that’s when I’m most happy.

What does the future hold for you?
We are taking 9DIMES on tour to the UK and will be performing in Gulbenkian Contemporary Art Centre as part of the bOing! Festival on 25 & 26 August, which is exciting. I am also currently working on a Documentary about Japanese Hip-hop with the creatives at 76M Films and a number of music projects for later in the year. Stay tuned!

Jason’s work can be heard in 9DIMES at Arts Centre Melbourne: 18 & 19 May 2018. For more information, visit: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au or www.9dimes.show for details.

Image: Jason Ng (supplied)