“Have you eaten?” would be the top of the list of any greetings from any Singaporean you encounter. Guidebooks unanimously declare eating our favourite past time, and food our national pride.
EAT is the second installation of a two-year long series of exhibitions which highlight memories of residents from Jurong. Reminiscent of the once-widely popular arcade games by Atari, the identity font type EAT becomes fatter as it is constantly fed. The transition from Light to Regular, to Semibold, to Bold, and finally to Black encapsulates the process of one gaining weight.
Complementing the key visual is the accompanying brochure, which follows an accordion-styled arrangement. The cover is the symbolic brown wax paper, commonly used by hawkers when packing food. Whatever race or background you come from, you are bound to have used it before (and gained weight like the font). From chwee kuey to roti prata, it is one of the most understated yet commonly used food objects.
The various text panels are adapted into this accordion, and labeled accordingly by the header tabs. One will notice that the text panels become increasingly wider, a parallel observation with the bolding of the key visuals. Illustrations and accompanying graphics representing various food elements form the transition graphic panels, which are also adapted to the exhibition display panels.
The EAT book takes on an abstract approach of one’s perception towards how every individual begins his meal. Whether having a meal alone or dining with a group, both the mind and palette come together in anticipation, forming a clean slate, keenly awaiting what is in store.
This is represented in the book cover, where the thinnest EAT word to the EAT typeset in black goes from blind triple deboss, double deboss, single deboss, single emboss, double emboss to triple emboss.
As the experience of eating goes beyond the visual senses, readers are encouraged to feel the paper to see how the word EAT fills up from the thinnest to boldest using the sense of touch – likened to how our belly bulges after a filling meal.
Filled with illustrations, photographs, narratives and interviews, the content is filled with memories from the first generation decades ago to the current third generation, with many taking over their parents’ stall whilst injecting a modern twist.
Like its predecessor PLAY, inserts can be found amongst the pages, this time separating the different sections and timelines with none other than everyone’s favourite brown wax paper.