Spotted! Benedict Yu

Noise

Noise
As Taiwan has ended the martial law in the year of 1987, the freedom of speech has out-bursted. Social media without a strict restriction of its content, started to influence the way Taiwanese view their own country. As more and more news media competitors came to place, each company tried to get the most attention from the audiences. Eventually, this phenomena led to an excessive or rather, violent pressure to force the people to take in information. This work is referenced from the format of a TV news report, having multiple information shouting at the audience at once. Do we care about what information is true or we just take them all in?

望子成龍

Untitled (望子成龍)
The definition of inheritance is the transfer of materials, tangible or otherwise, to other counterparts. It is inevitable that the process of an inheritance may generate other issues, thus diverting it towards a more extensive phenomenon. As a young adult with dual citizenships, I have faced many challenges with regards to my parents’ expectations within the spectrum of education and nationality. All the questions and thoughts are concealed within the gesture of writing in luminous paint. The contrast in education systems and parents’ expectations compels me to reconsider my identity – what is my origin and what will I bring with me into my future?

焚山

Mountainscape of Void (焚山)
Political books, sacred writings, educational textbooks, when they are all burned down to ashes, they reach an equal state of neutralization. The color of grey from the ashes symbolizes equality and the idea of void. What is the value of writings when the fragility of paper looses to the consumption of fire? At the end they have turned into wordless vanity. I transform the variety of books by destructing through the ritual act of burning.

Desquamation of Once Where Life is Beautiful

Desquamation of Once Where Life is Beautiful
We study, work, talk to friends, family, lover, strangers, there are so much information coming in and out everyday. After a long tired day, we will reach home and release all of our stress from the busy life that traps us. This is the place where we shed our skins and emotion, hide them far away into the darkness. We don’t want to show this part to the public, however they will always be there glowing in the dark. The debris will slowly creep back and form into a living creature, await for us to come home and shed our skins and emotion again.

Coexistence-Nature, Religion, and Industry

Coexistence-Nature, Religion, and Industry
Growing up in the suburb area of my hometown in Taichung city, I experience the tranquility of a simple life. I used to run around the rice fields and play hide and seek with my childhood buddies. One of my favorite things is to submerge my body into the rows of crops. The feeling of running down the rice field and getting touched by the nature is just indescribable. Whenever we ride our bikes and pass by a small altar, we would stop and bow our heads to show our respect.

Benedict Yu has freshly graduated from LASALLE’s Fine Arts course. Born in Singapore but raised in Taiwan, the young artist explains that “having a dual-citizenship allows me to experience and explore the cultural differences”.

With an exposure to two different visual cultures, Eastern philosophy, aesthetic, psychology, sociology, and anthropology are a constant tone throughout Benedict’s portfolio.

“In my latest work, I’m re-evaluating some of the social values and problems hidden in Taiwan’s society. Having multiple identities, inevitably I will compare both countries under the microscope. Parts of what Singapore is doing well, are missed or neglected in Taiwan and the other way round. Both are post-colonised countries that have to work very hard to catch up with the globalised network.”

You can view Benedict’s work up close from 26 August until 17 September, at Gajah Gallery as part of the ‘The New Now’ exhibition.

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A Series Of Unnatural Deaths by Ruffgaws

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Ning Goh aka Ruffgaws created these emotion-driven illustrations in 2015. First off she sold the works as postcards at the Pameran Poskad event. Last year, she expanded on the series with a zine “told from the point of view of Death as he was called upon to claim the lives of those who have died unnaturally.”

“Everyone has their own ways of grieving and coping and I guess this is mine, especially as I move on from my Dad’s death in 2011. It wasn’t so much of wanting to educate people on Death, but more to humanise it, and also to shed light on the agony that lingers on in the family when someone is taken away. I guess I was trying to make sense of what I was going through.”

Recently, Ning has collaborated with a pastry-chef friend to create ‘chee bye’ chocolate bonbons smoked deeply with the touch of remorse. The chocolates paired with the postcards were sold at this year’s Illustration Arts Fest.

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I Want To Go Home by Wesley Leon Aroozoo

I Want To Go Home Full Book Cover plus Sleeve

Mr. Takamatsu's Wedding Photograph (Photography by Jon Chan)

Mr. Takamatsu at 77 Bank Memorial Shrine (Photography by Jon Chan)

Mr.Takamatsu's View of Onagawa Bay (Photography by Jon Chan)

Mr. Takamatsu Returns from Diving (Photography by Jon Chan)

Wet Suit Out to Dry (Photography by Jon Chan)

Photography © Jon Chan

Stuck to the window of BooksActually is a poster of “I Want to go home”, a new novel by Wesley Leon Aroozoo.

About four years ago, Wesley read an article in the New York Times about Yasuo Takamatsu, a man who lost his wife to the tsunami that hit Onagawa in 2011. Since that fateful day, he has been diving every week in search for her.

“I felt an urge to meet this amazing man. It took me months to locate and reach out to him. Eventually I had the chance to spend time with this lovely man in Onagawa in the summer of 2015. The novel is named after the last SMS that Yasuo Takamatsu received from his wife who saw the impending tsunami. Since then Mr. Takamatsu hopes to fulfil his wife’s last request. I didn’t want his inspiring story to be an article that came and went. I decided to share this man’s story of loss, recovery and determination to reunite with his wife in a novel.”

I Want To Go Home is a dual-language singular book in Japanese and English published by Math Paper Press. Look out for the book launch late September!

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Spotted! Derek Chua

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Lending us a sneak peek into his books at IAF2017, comic artist Derek Chua tells us he self-publishes and diffuses his work through Irrational Comics.

“It started with Roleplayers, a mini-series centered around a group of tabletop roleplay gamers and their misadventures in life. It is comedic story and intended to be a parody as well as a love letter to the niche hobby of pen and paper roleplaying games.

Followig Roleplayers, I released two more titles:  Socute the Corgi,  an all-ages mini-series about the daily adventures of a cute, brave and fun-loving Corgi dog and Kitsune: Assassin For Hire, an ongoing series set in pre-modern Japan about the exploits of a female assassin who is on a personal mission to kill the Shogun.

Derek has also been working on an online comic anthology called PITCH. Read it here. It’s free!

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Film Photos And You by HongKit Toh

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Graphic Designer Hongkit uses a Yashica T-3 to explore Singapore and beyond through personal narratives. The result, Film Photos and You, a 24-image film booklet, roused out of everyday influences.

“I wanted to experiment with film, snapping photos of things that interest me. I wanted to make it into a book because I thought it would be really interesting to showcase the photos in spreads. The typography represents the mood of the photos. The typeset used is Big Caslon.”

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