The best is yet to come

Esquire (Singapore) - - This Way In - NOR­MAN TAN

It kind of blows my mind that I’m helm­ing Esquire Sin­ga­pore as the new editor-in-chief. Af­ter all, it was only six-and-a-half years ago that I was work­ing as a cor­po­rate lawyer in Melbourne; bash­ing away on a com­puter, re­view­ing con­tracts and work­ing into the early hours of the morn fu­elled by flat whites and take­out. To­day, I’m liv­ing in Sin­ga­pore and over­see­ing a men’s life­style jour­nal that counts the likes of Ernest Hem­ing­way and F Scott Fitzger­ald as its alumni. I’m still bash­ing away on a com­puter and work­ing into the early hours, but I’ve swapped flat whites for Amer­i­canos (be­cause, as my first editor told me, “fash­ion is skinny”), and soul-de­stroy­ing li­cence agree­ments for fash­ion spreads and in­ves­tiga­tive fea­tures. I’m lit­er­ally liv­ing my dream.

It all started with a love for sto­ry­telling. Whether that story is told vis­ually through bold and com­pelling im­agery, or com­mu­ni­cated through words that ques­tion and cap­ti­vate, I’m pas­sion­ate about paint­ing a pic­ture, re­veal­ing a truth un­told and spark­ing con­ver­sa­tion through in­sight­ful jour­nal­ism. And this is the vi­sion for Esquire Sin­ga­pore— to pick up the man­tle of mean­ing­ful sto­ry­telling (sea­soned with wit and good hu­mour)— but ex­e­cuted with a spirit of in­no­va­tion. Dis­rup­tive yet in­tel­li­gent. Weird yet won­der­ful. Hence, the dis­tinc­tive new cover de­sign. In short, we ex­ist to in­spire men to live their best lives, but we’re go­ing to look crisp AF (and have a bunch of fun) in the process.

When it comes to the book that you hold in your hands, there is a re­fo­cus on long form and ev­er­green con­tent. Tran­sient news pieces have been shifted to on­line to make way for an open­ing col­umn by Neil Humphreys (see “Neil Be­fore God” on page 20)—a

Esquire Sin­ga­pore monthly dis­course on the magazine’s theme, and im­por­tantly, how it re­lates to our so­ci­ety—plus a page ded­i­cated to lit­er­a­ture (think: poetry, short fic­tion and even comic strips) as a plat­form to sup­port lo­cal and re­gional writ­ers (check out “This page is lit” on 22). But it’s not just all words. Un­der­stand­ing the vis­ual crack that be­sots this so­cial me­dia gen­er­a­tion, we are break­ing up our fea­ture sto­ries with a photo es­say (flip to An­ton Lim’s “United States of Asia” on page 97), and have pep­pered the magazine with art­ful prod­uct shoots by our friends at Stu­dio Oooze (see “Still Life” on pages 24, 58, 96, 138 and 161) to en­able tal­ented pho­tog­ra­phers to tell their own sto­ries.

For this month’s “Lan­guage” is­sue, we wanted to un­pack the evo­lu­tion of com­mu­ni­ca­tion—from the use of AI in pow­er­ing Siri (read “There is a Ter­mi­na­tor in your iPhone” on page 111) to the new words that are added to the dic­tionary each year (see “Word Up” on page 104)—and, some would say rather am­bi­tiously, to break Sin­ga­pore­ans out of our cul­ture of silent con­form­ity and to speak up. Which is why we’ve cho­sen so­cial com­men­ta­tor and co­me­dian Vinny Sharp for our cover (see “With a Tongue of Fire and Steel” on page 76). Ques­tion­ing the sta­tus quo is not only crit­i­cal for progress, it keeps us on our toes. Let’s start a con­ver­sa­tion. Let’s agree to dis­agree. But what­ever we do, let’s not stay quiet.

Yes. There are changes afoot. But they are all or­ches­trated to make you fall back in love with thought­ful sto­ry­telling. It’s go­ing to be an awe­some adventure. Join us for the jour­ney. The best is yet to come.

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