“Rather than commenting on the negative effects of consumerism, we wanted to present the questions that we were asking ourselves about it in a lighthearted and jokey way,” says Xiaopeng Yuan, founder of Same Paper, a Shanghai-based self-publishing studio that has just released a new zine, Amazine.
Same Paper was eager to explore various aspects of consumerism: online shopping, the role of imagery, and the ability for it to bring about short-term pleasure while at the same time providing a distraction from the outside world. Yuan invited five photographers – David Brandon Geeting, Zhongjia Sun, Thomas Rousset, Makoto Oono, and Ryan Duffi – to experiment with items that are available to buy on Amazon. The items included luxury beauty products and workout supplements. After the shoot, the photographers made use of the company’s return policy and sent the products back.
Amazine is launched alongside the second issue of Same Paper’s photography magazine Closing Ceremony. Founded in 2015, Same Paper was set up alongside a book shop dedicated to self-published photobooks. Yuan, who is a photographer and graphic designer, wanted to create a physical space where he could share self-published titles to a Chinese audience.
With the exception of the type of items they were asked to purchase, the photographers were given complete creative freedom. Like all of Same Paper’s titles, experimental graphic design and a lighthearted approach is at the heart of Amazine. It not only challenges the limits of commercial image-making, but pokes fun at the current trends in online shopping, and playfully engages in questions about the effects of consumerism.