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RUBBISH FAMZINE 02: Till Death Do Us Part


It was a rainy afternoon in January. I was in Singapore with the team as we had an appointment with Kenny Leck of BooksActually, a small but robust independent bookstore. The agenda was to introduce ourselves and the BANGKOK ART BOOK FAIR project to see whether there would be possibilities for collaboration on the 2nd edition which will be happening on September 6-9, 2018. At his bookstore on Yong Siak Street, Kenny warmly welcomed us and led us to the back store for a sit down meeting. The room was full of knickknacks he probably collected (and possibly sold? I didn’t ask though.) consisting of design tableware, stationary and books (of course). While I was listening to the team explain to Kenny about the BANGKOK ART BOOK FAIR project and Bangkok art book landscape, it was then I delightfully stumbled upon one of the most interesting zines I have ever come across.

In conversation about Singapore’s art books, zines and printing houses we discovered that Kenny was also a co-founder of Singapore Art Book Fair. Kenny showed us many samples of printed works from Dominie Press and among them was a zine that instantly caught my eye, it was a takeaway food box in a plastic bag “That was last year’s issue, the creators worked on the theme of food” Kenny said. It turned out that the ‘famzine’ was made by a local family of four. Under the title, RUBBISH FAMzine, Pun, Claire, Renn and Aira Lim formed a family art collective called and had already produced 7 issues of the bi-annual famzine (the 8th issue will be out this September 2018) during the past 6 years. Kenny showed us some of the back issues he had collected, which were not only outstanding in terms of design but also by thematic choices as well as storytelling. (My personal favorite among them was issue No.4 from August 2015, The Incomplete Herbarium and Other Garden City Exploits, whomever collected, pressed and attached these local flower specimens into all 300 famzine copies truly deserved a big round of applause.)

It was no doubt that after seeing the famzines, we would have loved to invite the Lim family to join us at BANGKOK ART BOOK FAIR 2018. A special thank you to Kenny who connected us right away with Pun and Claire Lim. Unfortunately, the art book fair will be around the same time as their daughter’s PSLE exam so the Lim’s could not join us in Bangkok this year. However the Lim’s were happy to do an interview and offer insights on the RUBBISH FAMzine project which thus resulted in this article.  

For me, sending interview questions and getting to know someone via email is always a challenge. However, it might not be wrong to say that I feel like I know them both from the famzines they’ve made (the issues Kenny showed me are stunningly beautiful with a sense of humor and a warm sincere touch) and from the responses they gave me. It is truly a family matter – when speaking of telling a story. There are many ways of telling a story and the possibilities of what one can do seems endless. The most important thing is to have faith and love in what you do which I definitely feel shines through in their works.

As I can sense from the Lim’s RUBBISH FAMzine.

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