Communication designer, Cherine Wee has recently released part two of her photo travelogue diary entitled That Summer In Seoul in the form of a postcard diary pack, where she documents her daily travels and insights during her stay.
Her first release entitled A Month In Seoul, came in a form of a photo travel diary. Wee’s self-initiated project depicts the city from her very own perspective where she explored it just like a local. We chatted with her on why she started documenting her travels and where she gets her inspiration from.
#1: Why did you decide to do a visual diary?
Cherine Wee (CW): The decision to produce this book was never planned in line with the trip itself. I started working on this project one year after my trip, because I realised I wanted to officially make something out of it as a memento for myself.
I decided for it to be a visual publication because I’ve always gravitated towards taking photos as a form of expression. And through this, I wanted to document my experience and moments through the photos that I’ve taken and to share it with the others out there.
#2: What makes your visual diary stand out among others with the same theme (Seoul)?
CW: The publication can also be considered as an unofficial ‘off-hand’ guide for anyone who wants to explore Seoul and do not know where to start or how to go about planning their trip. It features local districts, highlighting lifestyle shops and brands gravitating towards the art, fashion, food and music scene. (Their respective addresses are provided in both English & Korean.)
It is also a personal documentation and a curation of the places I went to, things I’ve seen and done – off the beaten track style. I made a conscious effort to steer away from typical or overly hyped touristy areas, because you can easily google those.
#3: How do you think you captured Seoul in a different perspective?
CW: I wanted to capture moments through the details of everyday life – the kind of details that are often forgotten or taken for granted because they are so normal. I also incorporated my way of living and the things I did, places I went to etc, into this documentation. I wanted to capture the experience of local living through the perspective of a foreigner’s eye – keeping in mind that “this isn’t a holiday, this is how I lived a regular day in another city.”
#4: Where did you get your inspiration from (regarding the aesthetics of the book)?
CW: My source of inspiration comes from my personal hoarding of lifestyle/indie magazines, books, creative collaterals, a fully pinned board on Pinterest and a major weakness for good publication design.
The inspiration I’ve gathered naturally helped to shape my thought process and design style along the way, but beyond that, I wanted to create something that would truly reflect my personality and work.
#5: How long did it take for you to finish the entire project?
CW: It took me about five months to complete this project – from ideation, gathering and sorting of the contents, to designing, prototyping and mass production.
#6: What was your aim for this project?
CW: This is an open note to all the seekers and dreamers alike: through my personal experience, I wanted to encourage someone out there to take time for rest from the busyness of every day life and to remember not to lose your sense of wonder and wander.
For me, what started out as an ‘escape’ travel stint ended up as one that allowed me to rediscover myself in my 20 something years, to get lost in a foreign city – both physically and metaphorically, and to find myself through losing myself. It was the resolve to go wherever and do whatever my heart desired.
#7: Do you have any other upcoming travel visual diaries?
CW: I am in the midst of gathering new ideas and inspiration, and am definitely looking forward to producing new content soon.
Cherine Wee’s travel diary is available at Actually (Orchard Gateway #03-18,), Basheer (Bras Basah Complex #04-19) and BooksActually (9 Yong Siak Street). Her works retail for $32 for a deluxe edition (publication and postcard diary pack), $25 for A Month In Seoul (publication) and $10 for That Summer In Seoul (postcard diary pack).
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