in Design

Being Together by John Clang


I got this book over the summer. It is an documentation of the solo exhibition of Singaporean photographer John Clang, who is based in New York City. I was introduced to John Clang’s work when I was working on my A Level art project. Some people from Objectifs came down to my art class for a small photography sharing session, and one of the instructors suggested that I might be interested in John Clang’s works. So I went for his exhibition at 2902 Gallery in 2010.

Here’s his artist statement:

“The deeply personal also occupies my work, specifically the themes of memory, identity and longing as a son living overseas for years and separated from my family back home. In series like Erasure and Guilt, I respectively explore the fears when contemplating the death of a loved one, and the guilt of disappointing our loved ones. Explorations of identity can also take a turn for the playful and provocative‚ÄĒas evidenced in lighter series like Beon Sleeps and Me and Friends.”

Like John, my work is largely personal, drawing from my archive of blog entries, and journal pages. Some of the themes that I am looking at also include memory, identity, and fears, on the virtual space as well as in real life.

Previously I was only given a handout of his works, so I was very happy to be able to get this exhibition catalog and see the photographs in full size. I actually found this copy from a small shop selling art books in the Montmarte area of Paris.

Apart from the wonderful works of John Clang, I thought that the publication is extremely well designed. This is the work of Yanda of Do Not Design. Do Not Design is a local creative consultancy who is responsible for some inspiring editorial work, such as the magazine The Design Society Journal. To be honest, I am not very good with catching up with what local design companies to. But I personally really like the work done by Do Not Design.

These are some of my favourite spreads in the book.


Photo 16-8-15 2 11 16 pm Photo 16-8-15 2 11 25 pm Photo 16-8-15 2 12 06 pm Photo 16-8-15 2 12 12 pm Photo 16-8-15 2 12 27 pm Photo 16-8-15 2 12 35 pm Photo 16-8-15 2 12 41 pm Photo 16-8-15 2 12 48 pm Photo 16-8-15 2 13 03 pm Photo 16-8-15 2 13 14 pm Photo 16-8-15 2 13 19 pm Photo 16-8-15 2 13 21 pm Photo 16-8-15 2 13 31 pm

John Clang’s photo-books, including this one, can be purchased from DECK gallery at Prinsep Street.