エイプリル・リーApril Lee

April Lee is an artist & photographer, and one-half of music project aspidistrafly. She also curates the burgeoning Kitchen. imprint and has exhibited in Japan, Macau & Singaporeエイプリル・リーはアーティストでフォトグラファー。音楽プロジェクトの「アスピディストラフライ」にも関わっている。そして急成長している「キッチン.」をキュレーションし、日本、マカオ、シンガポール. Using the medium of film photography, she quietly articulates her own microcosm of the familiar in the everyday.

Please tell us yourself and your recent activity.

I’m April Lee, an artist and photographer. I set up the Kitchen. as a design studio in 2005 with my partner Ricks Ang and our main scope of work is paper and web design. However, last year we established the label side of Kitchen. to release music and artbooks by emerging creators mostly from Asia. As a musician myself, as part of the group aspidistrafly, we recently completed a 6 city tour around Asia (Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Malaysia), with the last show ending at SuperDeluxe in Tokyo. My photography exhibition “Shining waters, silent waves” in Kobe city concluded this year in June.

Right now i’ve been working on a new photography exhibition called “The Pale Rose of Wool” in collaboration with Japanese sound artist FJORDNE who will be providing sound installation. The collection of images and sound will be released under my label and will be launched at this event. It’s to be held in Singapore at the newly opened bookshop + gallery called Polymath & Crust, opened by the same people of BooksActually. As a musician, I’m also working on collaborations with Japanese artists such as Haruka Nakamura, ironomi, Akira Kosemura and Ruibyat on some tracks to be released soon.

Please tell us about your city, and how about living in your city for yourself/activity.

Singapore is a fast paced cosmopolitan city where western and eastern cultures constantly meld and converge. It’s also a place where snippet forms of almost every culture and people from around Asia can found in this single island. However, in a city like Singapore that is constantly changing and renewing itself, it has become difficult to find spots or places that have been left unchanged throughout the years. In particular, elements of our childhood no longer physically exist. This in turn has made old memories even more precious.

How about (Asia-Pacific) art and/or music community in your city?

I always believe that these days we are living in a global community and it doesn’t really matter where you come from, or are at. What you choose to read, listen and watch doesn’t necessarily have to be from your own immediate culture. We now have the ability make our own choices by melding different cultures and music from all over the world, and we simply pick what we like. In fact, because of this, the Asia-Pacific music scene has been slowly connecting itself to each other city in Asia and the rest of the world. It’s a very positive scenario because we are no longer limited to just living and absorbing information from our own little corner on the atlas.

Please tell us a favourite place in the city you live and work in.

In a fast-paced city like Singapore, many often think that it’s impossible to find peace and calm. However In the suburban neighbourhoods away from the city center, there are always these small and unassuming coffee shops with an outdoor seating area. This particular kind of neighbourhood coffee shop differs greatly from the more elegant cafe you can find in the city center – they are less polished, less glamorous, but also a lot less expensive. I’d like to think it’s the true essence of a typical Singaporean’s lifestyle. Here, you can sip coffee along with aged men of your neighbours who prop their legs up on the plastic chairs reading the newspaper and enjoying the neighbourhood breeze. Old coffee-cups and saucers with their patina add to the nostalgia. People who live around arrive under-dressed, with unruly hair and flip-flops to buy their takeaway SGD$3 meals and SGD$0.80 coffee. Some people naturally gravitate to the city center, where coffee shops are cool and the city is sparkling and new, but i very much prefer the slow lifestyle in the neighbourhood. It’s a seemingly commonplace everyday kind of life in Singapore, but this to me is a unique and hidden culture that is seldom written about, that most tourists don’t know of.

Kitchen. is based in Singapore, but active in the Japanese and Asia-Pacific music community as a whole. Their releases have gained recognition and positive reviews from publications from over 10 countries. Their label’s concept focuses on various interpretations of urban pastoralia, through the release of music packaged in an artbook format. They dwell in an urban city where they’re constantly shuttled from one form of transport to another, but their releases focus on the still form of travel – a suspension of time, and an invocation of someplace else, within such an endlessly moving environment.


アーティスト兼フォトグラファーのエイプリル・リーです。2005年にパートナーのリックス・アングと共にデザインスタジオの「キッチン.」を立ち上げました。仕事のメインは印刷とウェブのデザインですが、去年レーベルをスタートし、アジアを拠点とする精力的なクリエーター達の音とアートブックのリリースを行いました。私自身、ミュージシャンとして、また「アスピディストラフライ」の一員としてアジア6都市ツアー(日本、香港、マカオ、タイ、マレーシア)を敢行、最終日は東京のスーパーデラックスで行いました。私の写真展「Shining waters, silent waves」も今年の6月に神戸で終了を迎えました。今は新しい写真展の「The Pale Rose of Wool」で映像とサウンドインスタレーションを提供してくれる予定の、日本のサウンドアーティストのFJORDNEとコラボレーションの作業中です。そのイメージとサウンドは、私のレーベル名義でリリースされる予定で、この展覧会で展開していきます。シンガポールに新しくオープンした「Polymath & Crust」という本屋兼ギャラリーのスペースで開催する予定。そこはブックアクチェアリーを手がけたメンバーによる新しい空間です。またミュージシャンとしては、日本人アーティストの中村ハルカ、いろのみ、小瀬村晶、ルイビヤットとコラボレーションし、近日中にいくつか曲がリリースされる予定です。







Translation: Haruka Kibata

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