Self-publishing seems to be on the rise in Singapore of late. The secondSingapore Art Book Fair will be held this November, there are now two local Risograph presses — Push—Press and Knuckles & Notch — offering economical means of producing zines and publications, and more artists putting out books as works via events (Print Lab and The Yum and Dangerous) and through organizations like La Libreria. I’m curious as to what’s driving this trend of “art books”, which encompasses publications from artist books to catalogues and zines. For a start, here’s a list of some recent works, and who’s behind them…
A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World (2013)
BY: Institute of Critical Zoologists
DESIGN: H55 STUDIO
NOTES: A photo book of artist Robert Zhao’s works.
Rubbish Famzine 02 (2014)
NOTES: A magazine by this family art collective made up of Claire, Renn, Aira and Pann.
Being Together (2013)
BY: John Clang
DESIGN: DO NOT DESIGN
NOTES: A catalogue created for photographer John Clang’s exhibition of the same name in the National Museum of Singapore.
Light From Within (2012)
BY: Melisa Teo
NOTES: A book of photographer Melisa Teo’s four-year journey through the spiritual worlds of Buddhism, Hinduism and Shamanism.
Science of the Secondary (2013)
NOTES: In this on-going series by design duo HOKO, each booklet dives deep into one object to look at how humans interact with it so as to uncover the science behind its “design”.
ARTiculate (2013) (Part of the TwentyFifteen.SG; Since 2013)
BY: Tan Ngiap Heng
NOTES: TwentyFifteen.SG is an initiative by photography group PLATFORM to publish 20 photo folios by Singapore photographers to commemorate Singapore’s 50th anniversary in 2015. They will all be designed by Roots.
WERK No. 22: Dover Street Market Beautiful Chaos (2014) (Since 2000)
NOTES: WERK magazine has attained a cult following for how it takes fashion into the plane of art through the print and production experiments of founder Theseus Chan. The magazine regularly works with fashion brands such as COMME des GARÇONS and artists like Joe Magee and John Clang.
Stranger to my room (2013)
NOTES: A music CD and art book package published by Kitchen Label. Founders April Lee and Ricks Ang have built a music label well-known for its “quiet music” and well-designed packaging. Each of the labels’ albums come with a photo art book that complements the listening experience.
Kult Magazine: Read (2014) (Since 2009)
NOTES: A quarterly showcasing illustrations and visuals from around the world that respond to each issue’s theme.
Books of Haresh Sharma’s plays (2011-2012)
BY: The Necessary Stage
DESIGN: The Bureau
NOTES: Playwright Haresh Sharma’s plays for theatre group The Necessary Stage have been compiled into various publications all designed by The Bureau.