The new edition of FAR–NEAR, the beautifully curated book series spanning Asia from Turkey to Japan, just dropped. Through fashion editorial, photography, and critical essays, the series aims to broaden perspectives of contemporary Asian culture. In advance of the release of the 288-page second issue, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director Lulu Gioiello gives Flaunt a preview of FAR–NEAR’s “taste–distaste” theme, which includes stories and recipes focusing on radically different aspects of food and aesthetics, including Fukushima-irradiated mushrooms and an interview with South Korean streetwear brand Iise Seoul. The cover features 72-year old Japanese photographer Hitoshi Fugo's Cosmic Kitchenware, a series centered around the cast iron pan he used to cook for his family.
To celebrate the new book, FAR–NEAR is hosting a party at Chinatown hotspot LEE’S with a video premiere featuring ASMR star Bread Face and Gary Bardizbanian, and DJ sets by artist Hika Nishimae, Metrograph’s Theodore Jahng, and poet Vivien Lee, who is also a contributor to the issue. Here’s an interview with Gioiello:
What inspired you to start FAR–NEAR?
The amount of variedand genuine accounts of the Black experience from pioneering publications like Black Boy Feelings and Nii Journal made me look at my own community, and see that Asians, and not just Asian Americans, lacked a space to express their art on their own terms. It is also a way to shine a different light on prominent Asian voices by focusing on questions or stories one would not immediately expect from that person.
How would you describe the global contemporary Asian culture today?
FAR–NEAR enables Asian creatives across borders, operating as a platform for contributing to wider conversations on identity, Few publications and media outlets have given creators of north, south, east and western Asian heritage unrestricted control over their own voice and representation. In the midst of globalization, appropriation and rising nationalism, this publication acts as an imperative platform.