For the Zine, it had been suggested that I did on religion and architecture, which had also been things I had wanted to focus on. Thus, I began thinking up ways I could portray this, and soon decided to also incorporate the arts into the zine too.

Since it had been about the religion, there were a few things I had to take note, such as avoiding offending any religion, and also if I were to portray any Gods, I had to portray them accurately.

I decided I wanted to make use of the booklet’s format to do a two-way narrative, with the gods of the places of worship making way from the end to the middle, on a journey back to their place of worship, while passing the place of worship of the other gods.

I decided to put the Hindu and Buddhist gods together, and the Jewish and Catholic ones together.

I.e. The Hindu and Buddhist gods, Sri Krishna and Goddess Guan Yin will be travelling past the Jewish Synagogue and Catholic Churches, past to the middle of the Zine with places of the arts, to get to their own place of worship. Likewise, the Catholic and Jewish God/Saint will be travelling past the Buddhist and Hindu temples, past to the middle, to get to their own place of worship.

I initially wanted to do a photo collage, however, after trying it out, I decided and it was also suggested that I switch entirely to illustrations instead. I had drawn my cover pages already, and it had been in line art, with a geometric shape. This hence became the style of my entire zine.

Below is Mother Mary & Jesus, and Sri Krishna and Goddess Guan Yin.

Following this style, I did the line arts for all the places of worship, showing their architectural features.

The above are:

  • Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple
  • Sri Krishnan Temple
  • Church of Saints Peter & Paul
  • Maghain Aboth Synagogue
  • Church of the Good Shepherd

Spread 1

The Buddhist and Hindu temple had mainly rectangular shapes and thus, I decided to use rectangles to add colour in. Since the two temples had been greatly mixed and closely connected, with Buddhists praying to the Hindu temple, I wanted to show this mix through the use of intersecting parts.

The above was my initial design with the two temples joined and divided on a diagonal. The colours used are the colours of the architecture.

I soon received feedback that I should have proper reasoning for the colours of the squares that I had used, as the current design’s rectangles were randomly chosen.

Thus, I changed it such that the blues had been from the Hindu Temple and the reds were from the Buddhist Temple.

I also added white lines between the different rectangles to make it more obvious that the different colours had represented different places.

This was then repeated for the other spread which had the 3 other places of worship – the two churches and synagogue.

Since it was a journey, I decided that I had to add some sign or something to show the journey that the gods were taking. I initially wanted the gods to do something more, like interact with the place or enter the place of worship, but then felt perhaps that would be crossing the line beyond interfaith into syncretism – something some might be less open to.

Thus I experimented and initially tried one with the gods and saints just floating about.

I felt it was quite odd and thus switched to another format, with the Gods/Saints coming out from the page on one end and leaving the other. I ended up really liking this layout and hence used it.

Initially, the layout had been as shown below, with circles for Mother Mary and Jesus being red and blue and that for Sri Krishna and Goddess Guan Yin being grey and peach. However, it had been brought to my attention that the colour of the circles should follow that of the God’s/Saint’s place of worship. I heeded this advice and swapped as it made more sense as well.

Middle Spread (AAAaaaAAaAh)

I had the most difficulty with the middle spread. This was because the other spreads had not had many elements or objects. However, my middle spread that involved the 4 Gods/Saint gathering to visit the many places of the arts proved to be a huge challenge due to its many elements.

It had been asked if I wanted to switch and focus on just religion, but I had been adamant on involving the Arts as I felt it was through the Arts that religion could possibly mix without offence, bringing about more open minds.

I hence started working on it, firstly by doing the line art of the different places.

After doing this, I began trying out different layouts and found myself in an extremely huge bind.

I initially tried placing the different places next to one other, but soon realised that the SAM would not have been able to achieve that effect due to its size and structure. Hence, though it was a nice layout, I scrapped it.

I also tried making it a map and tried different colouring methods. I ended up scrapping it however, as I felt it did not fit the theme of the zine.

Since I wanted to show that it was the Gods/Saint coming together through the arts, I drew them experiencing the different art areas there.

  • Jesus painting Sri Krishna at the Stamford Arts Centre
  • Sri Krishna and Goddess Guan Yin going to SAM
  • Jesus and Mother Mary watching Sri Krishna dance
  • Goddess Guan Yin showing Mother Mary calligraphy
  • Jesus and Mother Mary going into the Middle Road Church
  • All four of them at centre 42 and the theatre

I initially wanted it to be a mix of the 4 colours only, but nevertheless tried to see if I should incorporate more colours. The conclusion was: no.

Sticking to the geometric shapes, I tried seeing if I should arrange them in the way below, and use triangles to frame it.

I tried adding colour to it too.

I felt it had all been different from the style of my zine and hence in the last minute scrapped all of it to do something that had fit it more.

Adding the Gods/Saint at the sides, my zine was complete.


Zine Final

All in all, this had been a fun experience, and I learned many new things. Though my middle spread had been unsatisfactory to me, I tried many different layouts and the journey had been interesting. I would definitely redo my middle spread if I had the time, and would also consider and learn more about colours and layouts.



For this project, we could choose any location to work and research on. After much consideration, I decided on Waterloo street, an area that I often visit to pray at the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple. This area was chosen as it had been brought up to me that there had been a Hindu temple right next to the Buddhist temple. After more research, I found out that within a 15mins walk radius, there had been numerous places of worship, namely:

  • Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple
  • Sri Krishan Temple
  • Church of Saints Peter and Paul
  • Maghain Abbot
  • Cathedral of the Good Shepherd

Realizing there were so many places of worship from different religions in the same area, I became interested in the idea of interfaith: a cooperative, constructive, and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions and/or spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at both the individual and institutional levels.

I thus decided to do on Waterloo street and scouted the area, only to find that there were many places regarding the arts that had been situated in there as well. It had been unique that the bras basah area, in general, had many areas of both the arts and faith.

To see what people thought about Bras Basah and Waterloo Street, I made a survey to ask people of their views. I firstly asked people of around my age group, then spread to others, and the results had been highly amusing.

To begin, one question I had asked was if they had been to Bras Basah. To which the first few surveyees had answered “no”. Since they are my friends, I had been quite positive they had been there before and questioned them about it. I then realized that they had indeed been there but had failed to recognise that the place they had been to had been Waterloo street, or that Waterloo Street had been in Bras Basah. It was thus a very interesting discovery and I changed my survey so people better understood the place.

Since I had asked those in the 18-24 age group first, before moving to those in older age groups, I realised that those around 20 years old tend to think of Bras Basah as an old place with many places involving the arts. They did not know much about the different places of religion and if they did, they only knew of the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.

The older generation, on the other hand, knew about the place and also were aware of the history of Waterloo street and why it was of importance to Singapore.

Below are the results of my survey.

Link to all surveyees’ answers:

I had also gone there to interview a few people and also ask others some casual questions.

One person I interviewed had been a helper for charity; asking around for donations. He had specially chosen to do this outside of the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple due to the high traffic flow. He had single-handedly raised up to $2k in a single day because it had been the 15th of the lunar calendar.

This suggested that among all the places of worship, the Buddhist temple had been the most popular. This was also supported by the Hindu temple’s helper saying that the Sri Krishnan Temple’s traffic flow followed that of the Buddhist one. He had mentioned that the 1st and the 15th of the lunar calendar meant that the Buddhist temple would be busy and thus the Hindu Temple would be busy as well.

Apart from all these, I also realised through my personal observation that many people had actually prayed to the Sri Krishnan Temple despite being a Buddhist. I asked around and many had actually mentioned that they felt that paying their respects and praying to the different temples had been normal for them.

Others had mentioned Singapore being multi-religious to the point that they see Buddhists and Hindus in churches just to accompany their friends, and they also pray along with the people in there, just as a form of respect despite not following the religion. One lady also mentioned seeing people of other religions pray the way they do in their own place of worship in the Sri Krishnan Temple, i.e. Buddhists praying the way they do in Buddhist temples in the Hindu Temple. This is not done out of disrespect, but more of just acceptance of the different religions and believing that they are allowed to pray to the different gods, even ones of different religions.

When I asked those in the churches and cathedrals, the answers were generally similar, though I realise they tend to be less open to praying to other places of worship though they do accept and acknowledge the other religions.

One question I asked which received replies from both ends of the spectrum was about the arts. I had asked if they thought there had been a connection of the arts to religion. I received replies such as “The arts and religion have no connection at all” and also the exact opposite: “The arts help to strengthen religion and also open people to the acceptance of different religions”.

Thus, overall, it had been an extremely insightful and fun experience.

Audio clips:

Photos I took: