Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A to Zine

Zines are self-published works that usually contain very controversial themes or topics, or niche mainstream media. With the invention and popularisation of the photocopy machine, Zines flourished and became one of the most popular form of independent publication common in the underground scene.

Back in high school, my friends and I were a bunch of creative misfits. We weren't extreme anarchists or anything, really, but I felt like we were a group of kids that did not belong to the same circle, kinda like the Breakfast Club. I remember my friends and I were really into the whole underground scene that we decided to create our own zine. Back then, I thought I was dead set about becoming a writer so having my content reproduced in a photocopy machine felt incredibly rewarding. I don't remember much from it but even up to this day, I still think it's the coolest thing we have ever made. Like all other zines, which were ephemeric publications, our zine didn't last that long. I don't even think I saved a copy of it.

Fast forward to 16 January, I stumble across Aliwal Urban Art Festival kicking to Singapore Art Week. Dre and I attend for a sole purpose--to attend the Cut & Paste Workshop. Our visit to that tiny room in Aliwal Arts Centre literally brought us back twelve years to when we first started our zine. t wished that our other friends were there with us. It would have been cool to make a new zine twelve years later.

Dre, who is a big fan of Henri Matisse, created cutouts. I, on the other hand, just went free flow. The whole process was incredibly therapeutic that we did not realise that we have stayed for two hours. I ended up creating five pages of zine material while Dre made four. After leaving Cut & Paste, we wandered a bit and ended up just watching people dance awkwardly. We left at around 11.

If you ask me, my zine days were definitely the prelude to what would be blogging. And as I relaunched and revamped my website, I knew I wanted to make my blog feel like a zine. It may not necessarily look like a zine but it sure is inspired by the zine culture of the 90's.

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