The zine making fun of Amazon

by Kitty Drake in September 2019
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Art & design

Slipped inside every copy of the second issue of Chinese photography magazine Closing Ceremony, there’s an extra zine. Called ‘Amazine’, the whole thing is a creative send-up of Amazon. The theme for Closing Ceremony is ‘Americano’, self-described as a “not-too-serious” take on the American spirit. Highlights inside include photos of lost tourists at the bottom of Trump tower, and a series of images of middle-class white men cooking healthy food in LA. Amazine, in its tongue-in-cheek homage to the largest online shopping platform in the US, follows the same idea. It’s a reflection on US consumerism, and the way it infects the rest of the world. But it’s funny.

With an uncannily real-looking ‘Amazine’ gift-card as its cover-star, images inside are surreal. A model rests her head tenderly against a plant pot; a man wields a ginormous log; a woman licks a spiky rubber ball.

The beauty of this zine is in its novel production strategy. Every prop you see on these pages (and there are hundreds of props) has been bought from Amazon, and then returned after the shoot, at no cost to the photographers or magazine-makers. The idea, explains Closing Ceremony’s director Xiaopeng Yuan, is to make creative use Amazon’s excellent returns policy. It’s an elaborate tease.

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