Justine Wong

You were part of Tokyo Art Book Fair previously. How was your experience?
Yes! It was my first time participating in the Tokyo Art Book Fair in 2016. The book fair was very international. Filled in the rooms were big-time publishers mixed in with incredibly talented individual creators. It was a great place to meet creators from all over Japan and all over the world. I can imagine myself traveling back just to participate and be inspired by what everyone else is building in their craft.

From Toronto to Tokyo – how did the change in location help you grow personally, and in craft?

Train Bento Guide for Lucky Peach Magazine, by Justine Wong

The change in location from Toronto to Tokyo changed everything in my creative process, and in how I lived my life. Suddenly I became surrounded by everything that was unfamiliar to me. The change required me to relearn everything from step one – whether it be the language, buying food, or as simple as working a printer. For me, it was like being a child again, when making mistakes is part of the process. I am still making so many mistakes as I go along. I am constantly learning as I go, building new processes that work best for me.

What’s the power of ordinary things (as reflected in your illustrations)? 
There is so much power in ordinary things. These are the things that one forgets while living. Imagine seeing, noticing and hearing all the things that everyone else no longer sees. It’s like having a superpower. 

To me, it’s magical – I think that is why people gravitate to the paintings I painted for my 21 Days in Japan project. Especially for Japanese people, it is a beautiful reminder for them of their childhood. The paintings are of ordinary things they encounter in their every day. The beauty of it all is that it requires one to pay attention. Ordinary things aren’t flashy and they aren’t fast. They move at the same pace as you move. They exist close by your side.

Say something to the fairgoers of Singapore Art Book Fair 2017!
My friends! To be honest, I’m really quite nervous! It will be my first time in Singapore, and I really don’t know what to expect. But I know so much of my support comes from Singapore, so I am truly excited to meet everyone face to face! I am traveling all the way to start a conversation with everyone, so I encourage all of you to please come and say hello! Ask me questions! Write me a letter! Let’s make it an exchange of creativity, of words, and of incredible energy!


Find out more about Justine Wong here and be sure to check out her booth at this year's edition of Singapore Art Book Fair!