Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Animangaki 2013: Tauhu [P]rojak

This year’s Animangaki saw the first hopeful inception of our circle, Tauhu [P]rojak, where along with one artbook and one novel released under the circle name saw the distribution of other doujin merchandise (badges, bookmarks, cookies) of other individual that chip in the booth under our circle.

Perhaps the time is right to properly introduce ourselves:

To say that Tauhu [P]rojak (more on the naming origin later) is a usual doujin circle is perhaps to be missing its essence: it is interesting to note that the two driving force of the project (perhaps a better term to describe ourselves) are in a very general term not doujin artist themselves: we have little grasp in producing artwork, compiling for a book, designing, and even more so in running a doujin booth for events.

But when it was announced that the Touhou Project section of Animangaki is to continue its 3rd year presence, both Irval and I (along with Winter Hotaru, one of the artist that joined in our project) were going over the question of ‘how can we get the Touhou doujin artist here to produce a collaborative work?’. And so we decided that a compilation artbook was the way to go.

We then asked around the people that we know of if they’re interested in contributing. Perhaps by coincidence, most of the ones that join in are the ones which themselves are not experienced in setting up doujin circle, or are involved in any other project of this level before: in other word, they are not tied down with any other doujin circles.

Both Irval and I are to be honest just learning the skills and knowledge of producing doujin work as we go along. To be honest we only wanted this whole project to be a collaborative effort, and that’s it: we don’t see ourselves as the usual doujin artist that distribute product, but put ourselves as the ones who’re just gathering people to put their effort to produce something which we can say that it is a ‘collaborative effort between local Touhou doujin artist who can proof that if they get together they can get something fantastic done out of it’.

In between the project, due to monetaries limit and inexperience, we actually didn’t really want to mass produce the artbook or novel. We figured that the journey was important than the end, and if we can at least show to the rest that the artist of a very diverse background can get together to work on a collaborative effort, then our job was done. However, producing a solid hard printed version is something that all artist go for – nothing beats the feeling of seeing your own artwork out in hardcopy now, isn’t it? And for that we would like to give a special mention to Xie MingWei, a fellow Touhou artist in Singapore, who if he had not gently prodded us to go ahead and print a good amount of the artbook, the whole project would have remain in obscurity and we wouldn’t really have much to show out of the collaborative effort.

With that being said and done, we have  set a goal and direction of the project: we wanted to be a platform to showcase the various local Touhou doujin artist work, to be a catalyst for them to continue to produce their work and to get the doujin artist scene here much more active and colourful. We appreciate art, and as ones who are not well versed in producing them we would like to contribute our ideas to gather the doujin artist to produce something for others to appreciate. We view the local Touhou doujin artist here as having a lot of potential, and we hope we can get them to develop their identity and to just contribute something for the series in general.

The name Tauhu [P]rojak came entirely out of random chat amongst ourselves: after making a pun between Touhou Project and tauhu rojak, one of our friend, Haszri fine trimmed the pun and we have this:

Pada suatu ketika..
Reimu dan Marisa sedang makan tauhu rojak. Secara tiba tiba, sebiji komet sedang datang ke arah Gensokyo. Reimu dan Marisa bekerjasama untuk memusnahkan komet tersebut.
Maka dengan itu.... POOF! Jadilah Tauhu Projak!

And from that, we know that we have a perfect name: it both shows our roots (Malaysian, with the malay word and food reference) and it is a good explanation on what we are. We are a bunch of local Touhou doujin artist, and we’re out to tingle with your senses (in our case, sight as opposed to taste in the original rojak). And both of us editors are just guys with a lot of random ideas – we love rojak-ing.

I would like to give thanks all the artist that have helped in contributing their work, and those who have offered their advice and help when we’re trying to figure out how things goes in producing the artbook and novel. Thank you to Ame Koto, Wool, and Reppu Kiri for chipping in under our booth during the event, and thank you to all those which have visited our booth during the event. Special thanks to Itamaru for hosting the Touhou section all this time and for kindly providing us our booth. And lastly I like to thank fellow random guy and editor Irval, which whom without his help and effort we would have certainly not have this project in the first place. 

It’s still too early to say how our next project would be, but be assured that we plan to continue the collaborative effort in the future. Stay tuned, and to all the artist out there: keep up the work, and we’ll always be supporting your effort!


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