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DARK CITIES Trilogy – Photobook Set by Shyue Woon

DARK CITIES Trilogy is a set of three books of photographs re-imagining fringe spaces in the metropoles of Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul.



DARK CITIES Trilogy, inaugural winner of the FIRST DRAFT Award by THEBOOKSHOW, is a series of three books of photographs re-imagining fringe spaces in the metropoles of Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul. CARPARK, first in the series, investigates the nocturnal meanderings of a dark multi-storey carpark in Singapore. CAPSULE, the second book, revisits a futuristic tower in Ginza built in the 1970s, through the imagined eyes and mind of its architect. The third book EULJIRO is a lost and found diary of a fading iconic Seoul district, once a symbol of the country’s modernization.

Co-published by Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA), DARK CITIESis the debut publication of Singapore-based architect and photographer Shyue Woon.

"The Carpark, a photographic novel of a space beyond place. Woon is the city’s refugee; where every inch of land is demarcated and set for a purpose, he is navigating its margins. The world he has created unfolds in darkness, yet gleams with colours made manifold by man." Excerpt from The Carpark essay by Charmaine Poh, Artist, and documentarian. 

 "It seems that we are exploring the Tower’s ‘consciousness’ as turning pages. We learn about the days of the Tower. However, what we see are not objective facts; It is just an imagination based on our own experiences. By exercising our imagination, we can see even the dream capsuled in the Tower." Excerpt from Capsule Tower’s Dream essay by Kenji Takazawa, Photo Critic.

"Seoul was a delirium. There were no clear borders to its mass; walking through it was like walking through a constant flux. A rabbit hole that rippled outward across its uneven topography and wormed down into untold concealed basements and alleys. Very quickly, it became clear to me: Seoul is a place for the restless." Excerpt from Un-placed essay by Rachel Ng, Art Writer and Cultural Analyst. 

“Shyue Woon's DARK CITIES emerged as the winning work amongst many others in the First Draft award organized by THEBOOKSHOW. This trilogy is a collection of fictional documentaries that reinvigorates our perception of the photo book through the author's fear, ambition and faith encapsulated in an intimate and personal encounter. “ Ang Song Nian, Artist and founder of THEBOOKSHOW.


Our vision is to produce a medium-sized book, resembling investigative journals. The photobook will be A5 (148 x 210 mm or 5.8 x 8.3 in) in size, hardcover with Silkscreen. The photobooks will be printed, bound in Singapore and only 300 copies will be released.


Earlier this year during one of my counseling sessions, I was advised to keep a diary of my thoughts and reflections. A few weeks into the exercise, I realized my thoughts were better communicated in visual form than in writing or verbalization. Without the structural constraints of language, photography became a way for me to communicate with my inner-self, as it is more intuitive and open to interpretations. At some point, I found myself drawn to the mystery gloomed by a dark, confining multi-storey carpark. With a hint of fear, I ventured into the void. I soon traced unexplained evidence that led to unsolvable puzzles. I don’t know what to make of my investigation, maybe this is how I interpret the carpark to be, a Purgatory, a space that is neither heaven nor hell.