Category: Media

A Counterpoint

An exhibition of Japanese street photographer Daido Moriyama’s works was on trend, but missing a critical edge.

PHOTO: Raphael Ong and Christopher Sim

Singapore is having a moment with all things Japanese right now. In September, fashion giant Uniqlo opened a global flagship store in Orchard Road, forgetting its 24 other stores across this city. Homeware retailer MUJI is also expanding here, opening a flagship store next year to join its existing 10 outlets in Singapore. This year also saw the opening of two Japanese food markets, as if there was not already enough Japanese restaurants in this little red dot.

Amongst this Nippon tsunami is also the Southeast Asian debut exhibition for Daido Moriyama, Japan’s “father of street photography” as part of this year’s 5th Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF). Unlike the consumer-friendly minimalist and kawaii sheen the country has sold to Singapore, however, Daido Moriyama: Prints and Books from 1960s—1980s, confronts viewers with a dark, gritty and stark portrait of Japan.

Read the full review in CUBES #83 (Dec 2016/Jan 2017)

Design Studio Somewhere Else’s Craft-led Transformation of The Singapore Architect

COURTESY: SOMEWHERE ELSE

When branding studio Somewhere Else was commissioned to transform Singapore’s oldest architecture journal into “the architect’s magazine,” there was one major rule: photographs were barred from the journal’s cover and kept small inside.

This principle was set out by The Singapore Architect’s new editor Hoo Cheong Fong, who believes that only fools think about architecture through photographs.

Under different editors and designers over the last five decades, this publication put out by the Singapore Institute of Architects had become too “commercial” instead of “craft-based” for the newly-appointed Fong, an architect by training, and his editorial team.  “The way they presented architecture unfortunately was not through the eyes of how an architect presents architecture,” he explains.

Read the full story in AIGA’s Eye on Design

5 Design-driven Titles That Burnt a Hole in My Wallet at the Singapore Art Book Fair

SABF2016 Picks

I came, I saw, and I left broke. This is a familiar experience for lovers of art book fairs the world over. It was certainly what happened to me at the recent Singapore Art Book Fair 2016, an annual showcase of arts publishing from the Southeast Asian city-state and its surrounding region. Inspired by similar fairs in Tokyo and New York City, independent bookstore BooksActually founded its own version of this fair with creative consultancy Hjgher three years ago. After sitting out last year, the fair returned last weekend, turning the ArtScience Museum in Marina Bay Sands into a “Cabinet of Curiosities.”

Read the full story in AIGA’s Eye on Design