A Home Without Walls is a book which seeks to explore the conversation and convergence between language and space in Malaysian food spaces, specifically ‘mamaks’ and ‘kopitiams’—places where every Malaysian feels at home—through a lively concoction of images, translations, excerpts, cut-out pages, and an essay which dives into the meanings and values behind these complex entanglements.
As Malaysians, food spaces are a place of blending and sharing of cultures, specifically Malay, Chinese, and Indian, over centuries of migration, displacement, and mergence. We often venture outside of our own walls to have a taste of what is within someone else’s. It is the creation of a sense of familiarity and belonging, the ‘rojak’ of languages which we so endearingly know as ‘Manglish’, a culture encompassed in the word ‘home’ that is hardly found anywhere else. A Home Without Walls makes use of a blend of typographic styles to evoke these themes, providing readers with a unique reading experience which is compelling, at times surprising, yet intimate, all at the same time. The theme of ‘without walls’ is reinforced throughout the book through the use of cut-out ‘windows’ in the pages, as well as blurred edges along parts of the translations.
When we miss home, we often long for a taste of it. Thus food spaces are an extension of our homes—and more often than not, these places are missing walls. This project aims to bring this uniquely Malaysian experience to everyone, right at their fingertips.