Medium of Romantics
The art of letter-writing still hasn’t lost its charm
Dec 11, 2016
Long before instant messaging came at the fore of personal exchanges, there was letter-writing, which, though revered by sentimentalists, sounds as laughably dated now as the old art of serenades. Think back to the time of Jane Austen when acquaintances were sustained through long letters instead of real-time Skype or social media, and when confessions were penned instead of spoken face to face.
Romantic to a degree, yet in part just comic and ridiculous, it’s easy to presume that polite society suffered from a collective fear of confrontation. Of course, albeit this seeming detachment, one can never discount the intimacy involved in the act of writing letters. “More than kisses,” as John Donne quipped, “letters mingled souls.”
When more roads and ports were opened, coaxing people to travel more, it was virtual messaging that tried to bridge the larger gap. The Internet—while compressing space and time—still lacked something more intimate that letters used to have. With a wired generation fanatic about everything concise, Studio Roxas and Filip+Inna came up with a closer substitute for letters; it’s more tangible than e-mails, and doesn’t ache with canned emotions characteristic of commercial cards.
Studio Roxas Travels with Filip+Inna was thus bred through a kind of union. A children’s book illustrator met with a clothing company and their mutual love for traveling brought a collection of postcards to vivid life. On them are amusing portrayals of five tribes, “[highlighting] the notion of exploration—of the islands and new creative territory,” as illustrator Isabel Roxas puts it.
Depicting tribes across the archipelago, the postcards echo an idea we know from way before: no matter the divide, writing to someone can close the distance in a way. Sure, it may not be a total collapse of space, but it allowed, what bold romantics would be apt to call, the coupling of souls.
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