The Taiwanese art director and designer Chen-Huang Chian has released a new publication Miner Volume 1 in aid of “the artists’ love for creation.” The magazine is published by Cave Records, and in each issue, creatives from a variety of disciplines are invited to create work around theme-based issues. The first issue explores the concept of “self-shaping through sampling shapes and symbols in modern society and social media.” Geometric shapes of dense orange are sporadically peppered throughout the highly stylised spreads; contrasting hyper-real photography with blocky graphics, and there’s even a Mickey Mouse dot-to-dot thrown in there!
The colour-laden, surreal photoshoots play on the idea that “nowadays, we can play thousands of different roles with the help of advanced technology and social media.” Chen-Huang tells It’s Nice That, “we examined the meaning and imaging of the current state of social media and ‘sexual capital’ to this society”, translating these ideas into fantastically art directed photo shoots. Photographed by the multi-talented Chien-Wen Lin, styled by Yin-Yin Lu and with makeup by Sunny Hsu, Miner’s dreamlike shoots also narrate a story around elaborately-fashioned internet celebrities and their loyal followers dressed in comically fluffy rabbit suits.
“In most situations, we tend to use images and a small amount of text as a way of expression,” says Chen-Huang. “We want the readers to gauge the storylines in their own way using their own imaginations.” That is certainly the case with this rather abstract publication that optimises on photography, art direction and graphic design.
The visualisation of Miner originates in something as small as a paragraph of words, a picture, or even a feeling. The designer explains how, “I pay attention to the connections between myself and others, society and the environment. As long as I feel inspired by things, I then talk about it with photographers and writers” and altogether, the creative team devises a concept for the theme, before proceeding to invite other participators into the creation.
Unfortunately for anyone that would like a physical copy of the magazine, the first three volumes will only exist online while promotion for Miner gathers. However, Chen-Huang already knows how the publication will be printed when it comes down to ordering a print run. “The print style will be based on rough and low-tech printing” in the hopes that “each reader will latch onto Miner’s pioneering spirit”, a magazine full of a visual narrative that is unexpectedly commissioned by a recording studio in Taiwan.
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.