The Art of Being Egocentric

WAM magazine By Officine Universelle Buly

由藝術家Ramdane Touhami創立的創意單位Art Recherche Industrie,猶如透視Ramdane大腦的x-ray,透過建築、字款、平面設計、攝影、文字和產品開發等,把他古靈精怪的想法、天馬行空的概念,以及他對美學的研究一一呈現觀眾眼前,Officine Universelle Buly就是最佳的例子。

早前Art Recherche Industrie推出了一本完全屬於Ramdane的雜誌,WAM magazine由攝影、訪問、文字和排版都由他一手包辦,他甚至是當起雜誌的模特兒,拍攝廣告照片。這貫徹了Ramdane不假手於人的創作方式,如家庭式創作般原始和純粹,使雜誌擁有獨一無二的個性。依雜誌的描述,這是一本自我中心、後社交媒體的出版物。相比起在社交媒體裡所呈現的自己,這本書來得更真實,我們可以透過字裡行間、紙張的質感、顏色運用和排版設計等等,了解Ramdane的靈感來源、細膩的目光與生活點滴。書中訪問了OFF-WHITE、AMBUSH等潮流品牌的幕後推手Davide de Giglio、獨立雜誌《System》的始創人之一Thomas Lenthal、日本著名的藝術工作者野村訓市(Kunichi Normura)等,全都是活躍於創意產業界的知名人物,深度的對談極具啟發性,是很有重量的訪談。

翻閱著這本雜誌,不難感受到Ramdane對美的瘋狂,以及對喜愛的事情抱有一股無人能阻擋的執著。雜誌封面的酒店位於瑞士的群山之中,是Wes Anderson《布達佩斯大酒店》的場景之一,由於Touhami十分喜愛這電影,於是他買下這間酒店,然後駕著他心愛的古董車,拍下這漂亮的封面照片,就像電影裡對於對稱美學的偏執,Ramdane同樣追求視覺上的完美細緻。為了更像一本雜誌,他更當成GUCCI廣告裡的模特兒,穿上當季服飾,自導自演地在羊群前拍下廣告照片,這種既幽默又認真的態度,讓人不得不感到心悅誠服。

有些人想為自己的一生留下一個紀錄,於是寫下一本本自傳。Ramdane寫自傳的方式則是透過與人物的對談、解構身邊喜愛的物品,以及隨意拍下的照片來呈現真實的自我,相比那些以密密麻麻的文字敍述一生的書,WAM magazine確實是一本生動又立體的自傳。這種真誠坦率和帶點瘋狂的「自我中心」,大概是WAM magazine動人的地方吧。

Ramdane Touhami, is a multi-disciplinary artist who is actively involved in the aesthetic fields of architecture, typography, graphic design, photography, writing, product development and more. His brainchild a.k.a. art direction agency, Art Recherche Industrie, is a venue where he showcases his uniquely quirky ideas and concepts. Among the numerous projects that Ramdane has worked on, the revival of the global beauty empire, Officine Universelle Buly has lauded the most attention from around the globe. 

Recently, the Art Recherche Industrie published a magazine called WAM, in which Ramdane is responsible for everything in it — from photography, conducting interviews, to designing the type-face, and starring in the advertisement campaign. This unique home-made and zero-outsourcing modus operandi distinguishes WAM from other publications. As a self-described egocentric, post-social media magazine, WAM is the expression of Ramdane’s inspiration, taste, and thoughts. Through the text, texture of paper, and the use of color and type-face, readers are invited to discover Ramdane’s magical world. The recent issue of WAM includes in-depth interviews with some of the most prominent figures in the creative industry, including Davide de Giglio, the mastermind behind OFF-WHITE and AMBUSH, Thomas Lenthal, one of the founders of the independent magazine System, and Kunichi Normura, a famous artist from Japan etc. 

Flipping through WAM, you will get a sense of Ramdane’s obsession with beauty and relentlessness in pursuing his goals. The hotel that appears on the cover of the magazine is located in the mountainous area of Switzerland, and is a filming location of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. Being a big fan of the film, Ramdane bought the hotel and decided to put it, together with his favorite antique car, on the cover of his very own magazine. The cover shot is, in a way, a reflection of Ramdane’s aesthetic. As a devoted creator of WAM, Ramdane also dressed up and starred in the Gucci campaign that bookends the magazine. The picture of him posing in front of a flock of sheep is simply remarkable.

Some people write about autobiography because they want to leave behind a record of their lives. For Ramdane, his autobiography comes in the form of a magazine that is filled with meaningful dialogues with other people, stories of his favorite things, and random photos that captured the precious moment of life. Compared with a text-based autobiography, WAM is definitely a more vibrant and vivid way to reflect on Ramdane’s life. Yet after all, it is the sincerity and frankness in this egocentric magazine that captures people’s hearts.  

WAM magazine is available at Officine Universelle Buly, 20 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong