ISSUE Magazine

Curator’s Note for ISSUE #15: Hunger

As I write this note, hunger is my companion and my familiar. I’m in the first few hours of fasting a complimentary fast, because it’s a special day for Muslims. As the hajj pilgrims spend the night and gather on the dusty, arid landscape of Arafah’s sands, the rest of us are encouraged to conduct our own remembrance. We share the hardship from a distance – their sleepless night to our hungry day.

I’ve been fasting enough years now to know the routine. Whatever meal I had in the dark won’t last for more than a few hours. No amount of water swallowed in sleepy haste will stay in my mouth the rest of the day. My body slows down gradually, each cell preparing to conserve energy once the last of the food is gone. I am tired, wan and sleepy – my brain grows sharper and my thoughts more coherent. It’s my tongue which weighs down with stupor.

Hunger is the least of my concerns. It becomes white noise – gnawing and persistent, but bearable.

But the five minutes before the break of fast – when the end is oh, so nigh – are the hardest.

For all of it being such a sharp reminder, its liveability makes hunger that enigma of experiences: Are there limits to hunger? When is it too much, and when is it just right?


We examine the different, ripe manifestations of hunger, how we live with and despite it — the hunger for another body, for memories, for escape — and how they almost constantly translate into gastronomical desire. It makes sense that when we are void of bread, we become the circus. Your body, after all, is always telling you something.

ISSUE: HUNGER features the surrealist visions of photographer Bryan Lim and his exploration of visual storytelling. We also have interviews with visual artist Zahra Zainal as well as the director of Tropfest Southeast-Asia 2014, Joe Sidek.

This edition’s theme has inspired collaborations from all corners, some of them indulging in memories of food, the others examining different forms of hunger, none of them any less visceral:

On the solo contributions front, we have music, poetry and fiction, all ready for you to sink into:

And with that, we invite you to roam our pages — shhh, take your time — and dig in.

Bon appetit.


Poster photography and design by Syar S. Alia

This entry was written by syazwinasaw and published on 15/10/2013 at 01:03. It’s filed under Editor's Note, ISSUE15, Syazwina Saw and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: