Zine Research and Process


Image result for vintage japanese matchbox
Image result for vintage japanese matchbox

I drew inspiration from Japanese matchboxes. The flat style and unique compositions that utilise empty spaces beautifully give a sense of peace.

Process of Zine


Yishun has a lonesome, isolated, and quiet atmosphere. It was rare to see people chatting, and most people would mind their own business without caring much for their surroundings. Yet, there is something soothing about the rustic place with its abundance of nature.

I started of by deciding on 3 main topics for the zine. They are the waterbodies, mama shop, and the hidden mindset of people which I could not fully know just from my trips to Yishun. From the trips to Yishun, there was a sense of human isolation, thus the zine is a reflection of different aspects of it.

1 Human Isolation by Space

I made some digital sketches from images of people fishing at ORTO.  Yishun is home to water bodies like ORTO and the Yishun dam, therefore depicting them would capture the natural and serenity aspect of Yishun.

Scenes of people fishing are calming and reflects a slow paced life. I also felt human isolation due to the wide space and water body.

Everyone minded their own business, there was no interaction between them


Experimenting with different line weight to depict the fishing line.

2 – Human Isolation by objects/ items


The number of ‘mama shops’ peaked at 3,000 in the 80s, according to the Singapore Provision Shop Friendly Association. Today, fewer than 200 of such shops remain. these kiosks sell a wide range of items including canned foods, stationery, tobacco products and newspapers.

Oil pastel drawings of mama shop products











These are initial drawings that I explored for possible compositions and colour combinations of the Mama shop.  I liked the disorganized, cluttered and unkempt effect of Mama shops rarely seen today, and aimed to depict that in this composition.

Sketches of people at Mama shops

After trying out different ways of representing items from mama shops, I felt line drawings when overlapped best portrays the messiness and overflowing amount of items displayed in mama shops. I also thought it would be interesting to contrast the overflowing amount of items purely by lines instead of opaque drawings.

3 Human Isolation through the mind

After spending time in Yishun, I observed that I rarely see people holding conversations with one another, and as a result it felt like the people were isolated and did not rarely bother about each other. You could not really tell what the people were thinking , or their state of mind either.

Initial sketch using Copic markers and colour pencils

Exploration with abstract representation of the human face.


I compared different compositions and colours, and decided upon a combination that expresses isolated minds and eccentricity. This was to reflect the strange incidents and crimes in Yishun.


Incorporation of words of the eccentric behaviour like walking a cow, and crimes. (cases pictured above)

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