U Symposium

June 14, 2015

I attended this event with a friend of mine for a solid 4 and half hours without any expectations just myself hoping for something to gain or bring back after listening to different sides of editing and publishing in a magazine. Just to be informed on how magazines work in different aspects such as in the fashion world, or just personal well being and lifestyle categories. For those who don't know that this event is, it is a basically a weekend where many different editors or curators of all sorts from independent magazines who come to speak about what they've been through and how they have reached to their peak and where they are now.

It was held at the projector and the golden mile tower. Though being a local, still

Not knowing what this place looks like and hoping for some arrow which will lead me there. It was a $5 cab fare from the train station, upon arrival, it was hard to tell if we were there as we didn't see any signs, however we were at the drop off point so we both figured it was time to get off. On top of that we were sharing a cup of llao llao (that stuff is amazing btw), fingers kinda sticky with chocolate sauce and scrambling to find my wallet to pay the driver. The only thing that confirmed that we were at the right place was the worn out sticker at the glass doors that flashed 'golden mile tower'.

As we get out of the cab, a closed box office on my right and silver coated elevators with notice boards at the doors pinned with the 'U Symposium' posters were up. Upon arrival, it was pretty quiet as many people were probably gathered in the hall already. It was a pretty cramped hall, with everyone seated waiting for the arrival of the next speaker.

We managed to catch the last 3 talks which were "Rubbish Famzine", "the gentlewoman" and "KINFOLK", which were all very different in their own way as they came from different categories and genres although they were all independent magazines.



"Rubbish Famzine"
-A local production
As I would call it, from Singapore and a simple yet quirky family. Pann and his wife Claire are not your ordinary parents, besides wanting their children to excel in studies they rather let their children spend their free time being creative and expanding on their imagination. Having their own art studio at home providing their kids with a space of their own for doodling or painting on canvas has shown their colourful side of their family. Both kids came up on stage with brimmed-fedoras and black round-rimmed spectacles and cheery smiles. To see their presentation documented with such detail and passion was something heart-warming to observe.
While they were presenting their first issue, "GOOGLING TRANSLATING TOKYOTO" it was such a simple idea that led to many memories which enticed both the audience and the family. To see their whole trip on film was like being there with them, sharing the joy and laughter. Never thought documenting things in a different way could encapsulate people more and to see them enjoy at what they do best is simply exerts that how unembellished ideas can turn into elaborate memories full of meaning into life.

 "the Gentlewoman"
-A well-known british magazine (the sister magazine of 'Fantastic Man')
Penny Martin-Editor-in-Chief of the Gentlewoman came on stage dressed in black and white which was a huge contrast to 'Rubbish Famzine' as she gave off an aura of clean and well-poised. As she sat down, the presentation screen flashed about a variety of 16 different front-covers of 'the gentlewomen', each with an icon or a figure that was new to the industry.
She shared every thought process that has came to mind during the production of fine print. Which I felt like we still need print in our lives, to actually touch physical paper and flipping the pages is becoming something out of the norm to everyone, due to everyone having digital access now. It was as if you were time travelling back as she shared experiences while working and interviewing people such as Phoebe Philo-designer of fashion house Celine. Also just making it seem like it was just yesterday when the first box of magazines that have been published and seeing the final product. Penny has definitely made the audience go through the journey with her although it seems like a breeze, everything has been thought into itty-gritty detail when it comes to publishing and it was definitely something interesting to see.


I found this sitting in my draft box and thought it would be a good experience to share. I'm not one to usually go for talks but it's always good to put yourself in different situations and hear others talk about what they have been experiencing, from what started out to be a small imagination has transitioned into something that everyone can see has definitely made me think that something as small as an ant could be transformed into anything.

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