Magazine-y: Rubbish FAMzine #9

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The latest issue of Singapore’s unique Rubbish FAMzine sees the Lim family – Pann, Claire, Renn and Aira – collaborate again, this time celebrating the humble chair.

Titled ‘The Unfinished Chronicle of the Chair Ballad’, the issue opens with a nostalgic look back at the children Renn and Aira as youngsters sitting on various chairs at home; it’s immediately clear this family have an envy-inducing collection of classic mid-century modernist chairs (above). This opening section has the smallest pages; as we proceed through the issue story by story the pages increase in size (below), the familiar ‘Rubbish’ logo bleeding across the page edges in different colours..

This is followed by a set of images of public benches, shot by father Pann during a trip to Japan (above). This includes son Renn, now 16, sat on a bench, texting.

The family’s love of film — one possible theme for an issue that never happened was their passion for movies – leads to a lovely series of screengrabs of modernist chairs spotted in movies, including this neat pairing of original and pastiche (above).

The next section is a paeon to modernist icons Charles and Ray Eames, with a guide to books about the couple, their designs, and various collectible ephemera (above).

A quick look at stray chairs – less august examples of the form, left by the roadside and presented on a sombre black blackground – is followed by a suitably bright, high-gloss celebration of the Memphis design group (above); this in turn leads to a record of the family’s attempt to customise an IKEA Frosta stool as a Memphis-inspired chair.

We hear the story of the arrival of IKEA to their island, the mixing of Swedish food and local chicken wings at the superstore restaurant, and the common, international experience of getting lost in store (and car park).

The issue ends back at home in the family artroom, adapting a pair of Frostas into a Memphis-a-like chair, complete with spray paint finish and full sight of those once cute kids as slightly less cute teenagers (Aira’s tongue, above).

As well as the printed volume, there’s a surprise beneath it in the cardboard box the issue arrives in. Here is the ‘Chairfix’ kit, a palm-sized flatpack from which to peice together your own modernist chair (above).

Another lovely issue then, immediately recognisable for its Souvenir font and colourful use of papers, patterns, inks and tip-ins (video, above). This uniquely hand-finished approach means the issue is, as ever, limited to just 300 copies.

The ‘Chair’ theme sees the four family members adapting to their new more mature relationships and promises further collaboration for future issues. Together, the nine issues to date act as an endearing and unique record of a family’s development as the kids grow up.

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