Man at His Best

Robert Pattinson Covers Our October 2017 Issue

PLUS: A Clockwork Orange's author + MCKK's Malay elite, cooking with the Korean nun who transcends Michelin stars, Kuah Jenhan's Runaway Now! Marathon + extreme running in the Appalachians, punting with ESPN's John Dykes, JW Anderson, Dan Witz collab with Dior Homme + more...

BY editors | Sep 25, 2017 | Culture

PHOTOGRAPHS BY CARIN BACKOFF; STYLING BY CATHERINE HAYWARD; CAMEL CASHMERE COAT, WHITE COTTON T-SHIRT, BLACK WOOL TROUSERS, ALL BY BERLUTI.

For the month of October, Robert Pattinson remains dedicated to redefining himself as an expressive actor beyond the teen-hero hysteria, now to promote the latest heist thriller Good Time. We also looked into the kitchens of a famous Korean temple; looked at the masochist marathon – the Barkley Marathons that runs through 100 miles of Appalachian Mountains. For style, we put together looks of gender-fluid fashion; featured Saint Laurent A/W 2017 accessories collection, talked to NY based street artist Dan Witz on his collaboration with Dior Homme, and chatted with Northern Irish designer Jonathan Anderson.

Read the editor's letter here: 

A TASTE OF LIBERATION

We’ve screamed halfway past 2017 already, and you’ll be reading this after the triumph and triumphalism of KL2017’s record medal haul for both the SEA Games and Para Games, all perfectly cleaving to the script for Merdeka and Malaysia Day, followed by President Xi Jinping’s almost-visit to open Xiamen University here, and who knows what next. (Print is a fun medium because it allows for speculation.)

Cue scenes of triumph, triumphalism, President Trump, PM Najib, the Trump Tower; cut to ‘Beds in the East’ on page 82: Anthony Burgess fan Mark Disney writes an ode to his politi­cally incorrect curmudgeon-hero, and unearths a trove of en­tertaining insights and starting points for further exploration of Malayan history. Burgess is an unfairly less well-known au­thor; less famous than Somerset Maugham, for example, even though he was born 100 years ago this year and taught a gener­ation of corporate and political chieftains at that redoubt of na­tional leadership, Malay College Kuala Kangsar. When you re­member that he wrote A Clockwork Orange, you begin to wonder how a writer and teacher could change the course of a country. The novel is only part of an eclectic multimedia oeuvre that in­cludes Malayan Trilogy and other megaprojects.

We segue to ‘Son of the Soil’ (page 32), where Pauline Fan keeps with the theme by illuminating Carlos Bulosan’s Filipi­no immigrant experience, one yoked to economic conditions and race, both essential ingredients of identity, which we use to distinguish ourselves from one another: believer from unbe­liever, sacred from profane, man from woman. Race and econ­omy were writ large in Bulosan’s life—and ours.

More on ingredients and identity: ‘Second to Nun’ (page 72) was first published in the food issue of this magazine’s excel­lent counterpart, Esquire Singapore. We’ve distilled it for Ma­laysia, and mixed in some of Paul Gadd’s astonishing shots of the global but still unworldly superstar nun, Jeong Kwan sun­im. Like Gadd, Ming the food pro had trekked to Chunjinam Hermitage in Korea, where he struggled to reconcile a “gentle, gentle” presence of a nun with a masculine physicality. Jeong Kwan sunim’s evanescent cuisine is à la minute and in-season. There are no recipes, let alone carbs, fats or protein; just food cooked with care and levity that caters to what you need, then and there. For Ming, it was perhaps a taste of liberation.

Speaking of which, why have so many of us taken up run­ning? Yes, sneakers, but also to get away from the bits of life we don’t like (haha, not likely), or at least the endorphin-high will wipe away the sorrows of modern lifestyle for a few kilometres. Kuah Jenhan’s Run Away Now! series of marathons (page 50) is an insightful observation of the trending outdoor activity of our times. Then there’s the Barkley Marathons in the Appala­chians for very serious runners. — Jason Tan, Editor-in-Chief


 

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