Taufiq Kamal, who founded Seni Lab, had a few projects which sparked his desire to form Seni Lab. One of his projects was to build props for a British children’s television series called, ‘Art Attack’ which was subsequently filmed in Malaysia on Disney Channel Asia.
Seni Lab is a production design studio that specialises in art production, set designs, production support and prop making for commercials, movies and events. We had the chance to talk with Taufiq, one of the founders of Seni Lab. Having worked as a Prop Master, he decided to set up his own Production Design Studio with his brothers, Maliq and Shafiq to offer a more holistic service in the industry.
How did the idea of Seni Lab first come about?
Around 12 years, I started to work in Art Departments and was a Prop Master who worked along several people in the industry after graduating with a Film and Arts Degree. Through my work, I realized that there was no team that specialized in Art Production. Back then, most Directors would outsource most of their Art Production to different people - one person would be doing set design and the other would be dealing with props. The list goes on. Hence, I wanted to fill that gap in the industry and build a team that specialized in Art Production.
We named our studio Seni Lab because we nicknamed our studio or workshop as our ‘Lab’. Naturally, we would work a lot of our art stuff in the lab and that is how you get the name - Seni Lab.
How has your brand changed since you first started?
We are constantly evolving. When we first started out, we focused most of our efforts into prop making. Currently, we are involved in building and designing sets and we also offer design consultancy for artists and brands who are looking for new ideas on how to creatively fill up a space. To us, we are always on the lookout on how we can do more and be better.
What is the best part about managing your own brand?
Having total control of where the brand is going. Since I am my own boss, Seni Lab is my personal space to play around and experiment with new ideas. I really love that aspect of my job as I was able to fully realize my creative potential and that keeps me motivated. It is also nice to be able to dictate my own working hours since I no longer work a 9 to 5 job.
Similarly, this was also the case with my brothers who joined me on my journey. Since they were working professionals, they help and manage different aspects of Seni Lab. Malik graduated with an Accounting Degree so he is more on the business side of things and Shafiq graduated with a Marketing and Business Degree so he handles our Social Media Platforms.
We are always on the lookout on how we can do more and be better.
What was an unexpected lesson you’ve learned from running your brand?
Personally, I cannot stop thinking of how to expand or improve on what we are doing at Seni Lab. At the end of the day, we dictate how far we can go. So I end up sacrificing my personal time for work which can be difficult. There are some days where I doubt myself and the work that we do. Some days, my perfectionism gets the better out of me and that can make it difficult for me to get the work done.
In your opinion, what’s the best project you’ve ever worked on?
Every project is unique and fun in its own way. We take all our projects as a learning experience for us to learn and develop ourselves for the future. Our CAHAYA installation, that we hosted with our friends Zulamran Hilmi and Shaq from Againtslab for Urbanscapes, is definitely one for the books as we manage to combine all of our interest in music, fabrication, art and T-shirts into one project.
What is a direction you’d like to see for the brand in the future?
We would like our brand to play a bigger role in the creative industry. This is done by working together with more local and international creatives through collaborations in anything creative -- it could be Music, TV, Events or Art Installations. In the future, we also hope to establish ourselves as a platform for up and coming creatives to learn, understand and establish themselves in the industry.