Issue Five: Letter from the Editor

By Payal Khandelwal • Issue 5, December 2017

TFM has somehow managed to turn two years old this December! It’s been a fairly bumpy and an incredibly satisfying ride. A huge thank you, as always, to everyone who has been with us in whatever way.

This issue has been in the making for the last four months, and we are happy to finally present it to you. Right from the very beginning, ‘Places’ has been an extremely important way for us to document and explore visual arts. The idea behind this category was to hear stories from creatives about how particular places and travel shape their work. In the last issue, we extended this idea to a Cover Feature on Istanbul, for which we spoke to six creatives about the city. This issue’s Cover Feature focuses on the dynamic city of Tel Aviv through conversations with three creatives including Dudy Dayan, Ido Biran (photographers), and Ofra Amit (illustrator). We not only got some really interesting perspectives on Tel Aviv from them, but also their recommendations on how to experience its contemporary visual culture.

Tel Aviv – photograph by Ido Biran

For one of the four ‘People’ interviews in this issue, we spoke to Marlies Bloemendaal, creative director and co-founder of Ministry of New, a collaborative workspace in Mumbai that has scooped admiration for its concept and aesthetics from around the world. We were very curious to know about the road that led Marlies, who was born and brought up in the Netherlands, to India. We also talked to her about the Ministry, her daily life in Mumbai, and the things that inspire her.

Then we have an interview with Seoul based illustrator Donghyun Lim. As I mentioned in my last letter, this is the first time we have featured an artist from South Korea. Through an email, Donghyun told us about working with editorial brands, his creative influences, and about Seoul. Also, we are proud to tell you that we have now published conversations with creatives from over 25 countries.

For this issue, we also spoke to Dubai based contemporary artist Dina Saadi. We have been following her work since the last couple of years, and were happy to finally get in touch with her for an interview. Dina was born in Moscow and raised in Damascus, and then she moved to Dubai in 2012. Apart from her commercial graphic design work, she has been painting large scale murals all over the world. We spoke to her about her roots, inspirations, public art, and travel.

We had the pleasure of meeting Singapore based artist Tan Zi Xi, who was in Mumbai (where we currently publish TFM from) recently for the new edition of St+art India. Zi Xi’s gargantuan installation ‘Plastic Ocean’ at Sassoon Docks in Mumbai captured everyone’s attention and inspired a lot of meaningful dialogue, both online and offline. We chatted with Zi Xi (also known as MessyMsxi) at Café Mondegar, an iconic café in South Mumbai, over breakfast. Zi Xi was very curious to know more about Mumbai and had been interacting with the locals ever since she came. We, in turn, asked her about her life in Singapore, her experiences in London where she studied, the evolution of her work so far, and the making of ‘Plastic Ocean’.

We are proud to tell you that we have now published conversations with creatives from over 25 countries.

Lastly, if you have read most or actually any of my letters, then you would probably know that I have a tendency to ramble on. I have consistently cribbed about the hardships of running this publication, and to somehow balance that, spoken at length about the people and things that inspire me to keep at it. However, I have a very strict resolution for 2018 – More Action and Slightly Less Talk. This basically means that I will continue documenting both the good and the tough parts about running TFM, but in a more cohesive and useful manner.

Here’s hoping that we do a lot more experiments next year and find ways to sustain ourselves.

Please write to us with feedback/criticism/ideas/news/work on [email protected] Your words mean the world to us.

Happy holidays. Eat a lot of cake.

Lots of love,


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