The Lims’ Rubbish Famzine: A Decade of Family Creativity

In the bustling creative scene of Singapore, one family has turned their household into an art collective, producing a unique magazine called Rubbish Famzine for over a decade. Conceived by Claire and Pann Lim in 2011, along with their children Renn and Aira, this “famzine” (a blend of “family” and “zine”) is a testament to the power of familial collaboration in art.

The journey began when Pann, a co-founder and creative director of Kinetic Singapore, realized he wasn’t sharing his vast design knowledge at home with his own children. This epiphany led to the formation of the holycrap collective, named cleverly after the initials of each family member. Their mission was simple: turn everyday family experiences into high-quality, artistic publications.

The first issue of Rubbish Famzine, ‘GOOGLE TRANSLATING TOKYOTO,’ was born from a family trip to Japan in 2013. Armed with 103 rolls of film, the children captured their journey, which Pann felt deserved more than just a digital archive. Thus, the famzine was created as an elaborate family scrapbook, filled with film photography, heartwarming stories, and endearing illustrations.

Each issue of Rubbish Famzine is a labor of love, involving meticulous design and innovative packaging. Whether it’s a magazine tucked into a Chinese takeout box or one with pressed wildflowers between its pages, the Lims put immense effort into every detail. Despite the tedious process, the end result is always visually stunning and deeply personal.

Over the years, the themes of the famzine have ranged from celebrating Claire’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary to a heartfelt tribute to Pann’s late father. One notable issue, ‘Flash and Blood,’ included a candid section titled ‘ScolioSIS,’ where Renn documented his sister Aira’s experience with scoliosis. By sharing such personal stories, the family hopes to resonate with others facing similar challenges.

The famzine isn’t just about showcasing art; it’s also about instilling life values. Through holycrap, Pann and Claire have taught their children discipline, resilience, and the importance of honest feedback. Despite the occasional rejection of their artwork, Renn and Aira have grown to understand that not every creation will be perfect, a lesson that has shaped their artistic development.

As Renn pursues a diploma in sports science and Aira prepares for her ‘O’ levels, their involvement in the famzine has shifted. They now contribute rather than lead, reflecting their evolving roles as young adults. Yet, the bond formed through these creative endeavors remains strong. Pann and Claire hope that the famzine will serve as a series of over-designed diaries for their children to cherish long after they are gone.

Rubbish Famzine stands as a beautiful example of how art can bring a family together, transforming mundane experiences into extraordinary works of creativity. As long as the Lims find joy in the process, they plan to continue producing their beloved famzine, proving that sometimes, talking “rubbish” can lead to something truly remarkable.


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dabodab is a blog about various things DiY and the creative people and activities surrounding them. I am Briyan Frederick (aka Bryan Baker), probably best known as the publisher of GAJOOB and a founder of Tapegerm Collective read more.

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I believe in finding the innate truth behind the music, and bringing that forward. I listened to the feeling and rhythm, letting the tempo become ingrained on my soul. And then I sped it all up twice as fast and sang about dicks.Matthew Lee aka Sausage Boy