Tropical Reading: Photobook and Self-Publishing

Tropical Reading: Photobook and Self-Publishing
is divided into three parts: a) artists; b) art bookstores; c) photobooks and self-publishing scenes; plus, an appendix and an index of ten cities. A bilingual publication, the English version reads from left to right; the Chinese version right to left. 

The first section illustrates the photography practitioners and artist collectives from each city in Southeast Asia, examining why they chose to get into self-publishing. The second section explores the ways in which independent art bookstores came to be the social parlors of the self-publishing crowd. The third section island-hops between the photobook and self-publishing phenomena of recent years, observing how alternative artists, archives and arts initiatives of Southeast Asia came to shape the face of photography and self-publishing in their respective cities. 

As an appendix, “So, Why Photobook?” explores the changing meaning of the term “photobook” in different linguistic contexts, the myriad of links between the term and the physical object – and ultimately, why exactly we do photobooks.  

The final part of the book, the index, is a compilation of our project field research, condensing the profiles of all the interviewees – from people to bookstores to organizations – to make a kind of alternative Yellow Pages for the Southeast Asian art publishing scene.  


Author: Fotobook DUMMIES Day (Liu Chao-tze, Lin Junye)
Text: Chinese/ English
Published by pon ding & Fotobook DUMMIES Day
Published in April 2022
Edition of 400
Dimension: 19.6 x 23 x 3.7 cm
ISBN 978-986-98628-4-4


【About Publisher】

Fotobook DUMMIES Day

Initiated by Liu Chao-tze and Lin Junye, Fotobook DUMMIES Day is a publication project which mainly focuses on photographic publications in a manner of “self-publishing”, within the understanding the nature of the concept of “dummy”. We want to make contacts in between the makers and makers, the makers and readers, to establish a platform wherever their conversations become possible.

pon ding

A collaborative platform for exchanging ideas and making things happen.