Chen Yi An
Dawn Lim Gin
Jia Le Ling
Lee Wan Xiang
Maximus (Joy Alexis)
Rochelle Edelweiss Boon
art naming 奇能
WHERE TO GET IT
Kinokuniya Takashimaya & Bugis Junction
Basheer Graphic Books
Hello, it’s been a while.
After our one-year hiatus, we’re excited to be back with our 4th issue. Through these few years of collaborating with contributors from various specialisations, one of our greatest observations at Now & Again has been finding strands of similarities between creatives from all over the world. The one thing that ties us together, no matter how different, is the human experience that can sometimes be so uncanny. This issue is an attempt to bring to light the ways we see the world, make art and form memories, revealing the universal nature of the human experiences of grief, loss and joy — despite coming from such personal places.
Theories about the uncanny date back to 1906, when German psychiatrist Ernst Jentsch referred to the idea of unheimlich (literally ‘unhomely’). Then, in 1919, Sigmund Freud added on to this concept, positing that the disquieting experiences surrounding the uncanny are based on early childhood memories or aspects of our unconscious self. In 1970, Masahiro Mori published Bukimi No Tani (不気味の谷 / The Uncanny Valley), a hypothesis which argued that as robots became more humanoid, they would appear familiar to a point where subtleties of their appearance would elicit a sense of eeriness.
Explorations of the uncanny reflect the history of the eras, including technological developments and changing understandings of the human psyche. This is what intrigues us, as the uncanny is still not an obsolete topic and is constantly evolving. Something one might have considered to be creepy or uncanny back in the 18th century is no longer that taboo today — think witches, sexuality and mental health awareness, for instance.
In essence, an uncanny feeling can be considered a strange and mysterious sense that there is something foreign in familiarity, and vice versa — paradoxes, underlying anxieties, forgotten childhood memories that linger, an unhomely feeling while being at home, the illusion of security, and so on. Taking inspiration from Anthony Vidler’s The Architectural Uncanny (1992), we issued an open call with three prompts: ‘Spaces’, ‘Childhood’ and ‘People’.
We invite you to be curious about this limbo state of the familiar unfamiliar – the notion that in the realm of the uncanny, new rules apply. Throughout this issue, take a deep dive into the vulnerabilities shared by our wonderfully talented contributors. See how the development of cities insidiously governs our emotions and choices, driving us, as humans, to retreat to accustomed spaces. Observe the nuances in the mundane, and face the uncomfortable in-between spaces that we walk past or turn a blind eye to on a daily basis. Search deeper beneath the surface, and hopefully, through all that, find empathy and inspiration.