Choosing one of the two and approach
For the first part of the final project, we had the choice between compiling all our previous works or building on previous projects and further exploring and developing them. I decided to choose the latter as I did not feel very much for last semester’s works and we only had two projects this semester. I really like both of the projects we had this semester but it was not difficult for me to choose between the two as my “Typographic Portrait” worked on having the video/interview element for the background. Hence, my zine was decided on further exploring the second project “Point of View”.
For my “Point of View” project, I used photo manipulations to exaggerate the situations my subjects are in, according to their respective facial expressions. I really like that I have the freedom to use photography to express what I want and hence, I thought, why not do something more exciting, but still within the medium of photography. And I came up with the idea of having mini installations/actors of my chosen topic and photograph it down for my zine. It is also linked to film like how I will be directing and setting up scenes to shoot in future for film.
Choice of topic
I have had many many ideas for the content of my zine. For my initial concrete concept, I wanted to do something along the lines of showing what makes Singapore, Singapore. I wanted to have spreads which shows what food Singapore is known for.
Like make a spread on a classic coffee shop table with foods like chilli crab, char kuay teow, durians, laksa, ice kachang, bak kut teh etc etc.
Another spread on iconic places like esplanade, merlion, MBS, pasar malam, erp, ice cream carts, hbd flats, changi airport, singapore river, rocher colorful HDB, old hill street police station, shophouses in chinatown, sir stanford raffles, singapore flyer ,har pa villa, chinese and japanese garden etc. Like compile all of the photos into a photo montage on the A2 spread to showcase all of it. An example of a similar idea which was done for Berlin can be seen below
And having another spread on the words we say, like our singlish and the type of people (occupation) we can see only in Singapore- tissue peddlers, karang guni and ice cream man.
However, I feel that it will be a little too much and too cliche. It was when I reached the brainstorming for activities that is unique to Singapore when I came up with parking coupons, queuing for stuff, chop-ing seats with tissues that I finally fixed on my choice of content.
I have always liked how my classmates can incorporate social issues into their work but all of my work till now have never really addressed any. And so I thought to make this final project count before I move on to my major in Film. For the reservation of seats using a packet of tissue paper, I realised if it was another country, people will just ignore the pack of tissue paper and go ahead and take the seat. Thus, it was only in Singaporean’s point of view that a pack of tissue paper on the table equates to the table being reserved.
And hence, my final choice of topic is about seats in the point of view of Singaporeans. About the issues with seats in Singapore which is unlikely to be seen elsewhere in the world.
Type and format of Zine
After deciding on my topic and also my medium which is photography, I had to decide what type of Zine I want to produce. I researched and looked through countless zines but photography zines still appealed most to me. I really like how aesthetically pleasing they look, especially with full spread pages and also, how they have an exaggerating lack of words as compared to other type of zines. So, it was easy for me to decide on the kind of zine I wanted to produce.
As for the format of zine, I am really into the eight page no staple zine as it will allow me to have an A2 spread of photo at the back of everything when the zine is unfolded. So that’s it for the type and format of my zine.
Research and inspiration
I looked up tens and hundreds of zines for inspiration on their format and how they arranged texts and pictures. I also looked out for interesting contents that I thought might be able to inspire me. So here are some of the zines I found.
This particular zine about nature was really aesthetically pleasing to me. All of their pages were full page pictures of fruits or plants with the facing page having either a minimal worded white space or a smaller picture with a nice composition.
This next zine is intriguing to me not because of its content but I like how minimal it looks. It forces the readers to focus their attentions on what is important and not go all over the pages. The thing that caught my attention most was it’s binding. The zine is sewn on very cleanly and I thought I might be able to use this method of binding if I were to use the traditional format for my zine.
This next zine that inspired me is a biography of a man. I like it because of its monochromatic theme. How it is devoid of colors and just black and white. Maybe I can do this for my zine? Or have some specific parts of my zine be black and white if it can emphasis a point. Apart from that, on the 5th spread from the top, it has a two paged spread which is something that I was looking for. I considered how A5 for each spread might be too small for my viewers to see the details of my pictures so I will most probably be using this format for each of my spread.
As for my approach to my topic, Proj Joy previously mentioned about “dude.sg” and the work he does. I went to see his works and they were really similar to what I imagined my work will be like. Some of his works that inspired me and I could relate more to, are shown below.
So with my approach and format of zine settled, now to move on to my process and my final deliverables.