Nestled above inpages in Thao Dien, a new print studio is offering artists and other creatives a new way to express their ideas and visions.
Kho Muc is the brainchild of a team including Long Dang and Simon Phan, who have been responsible for other creative endeavors such as Saigon Artbook. The name of the studio is a play on Vietnamese words, as it means both ‘dry ink’ and a squid snack served with sidewalk beers.
“The website also ends in .me, which means to dip with tamarind sauce,” Phan tells Saigoneer. “That conversation was hilarious to us, and we went with it.” The studio’s logo, meanwhile, is a playfully depicted squid. The Vietnamese word for “full stop” is chấm, which is a homonym for “dipping”; me means tamarind, the main ingredient for the squid snack’s sweet and tangy sauce.
Kho Muc stands out from standard print shops thanks to its use of riso, a type of ink derived from soybeans. According to Phan, this type of ink was being used by a printing service in Hanoi, but only for commercial purposes, such as wedding products or school exams. He and Dang wanted to see what it could do for art.
“Riso is much cheaper than digital prints and offset prints,” Dang explains in an email. Kho Muc offers minimum print runs of just 10 copies, while offset prints at other shops have to be over 500 copies.
“And every time you print, the color will be different because their ink supply is not stable thanks to cheap ink, and every shop will result in different colors too,” he adds. “Also, they usually only have two types of paper you can choose from; therefore the result is not beautiful.”
Read more about Kho Muc on Saigoneer.
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