LOST is a magazine founded by Nelson Ng, a Singaporean art director who is currently based in Shanghai. Featuring personal stories and photo essays from contributors traveling the world over, the thick bilingual magazine is both stunning and meditative. The stories draw from a talented community of writers, designers, photographers, and artists whose travel experiences are not typically covered by the glossy editorial spreads of other travel magazines. Instead, Nelson curates the stories to be more about travel as a state of mind.
Travel can be inspiring, foreign, fun, extremely uncomfortable or ugly. “I called it LOST after a trip where I took a ship from China to Japan all alone and realized that travel could be an entirely different experience. I realized that travel wasn’t really about sightseeing at all, but about what goes on in your mind when you’re traveling,” Nelson says, “It was actually quite an uncomfortable trip, because I didn’t know the place and didn’t know the language. But after I came back from the trip I felt that I had learned and grown so much, and I realized this is the true value of travel, and it was a great feeling,”
The first issue of LOST came about as the result of an experiment when Nelson tapped into his network of friends in the creative industry for interesting stories about their trips around the world. “Each person came back with a very different interpretation of travel. One person wrote about the language barriers when traveling in a foreign land such as Japan, another person wrote only about the people she met during her trip in Yunnan, and someone else merged his writing with his photography to create a visual poetry of his feelings when he climbed mountains. It was all very personal and just people sharing what they saw and felt during their trip.”
As one of the only few bilingual magazines coming out of China, LOST has rapidly picked up distribution outside of Shanghai and Singapore to Taiwan, London, Berlin, Amsterdam and New York. Mainly carried in small independent cafés and lifestyle shops, it remains at heart a self-published magazine that connects both Asian and Western audiences.
“The reception has surpassed my expectations,” Nelson says, “submissions are already in up to the fourth issue, and I think the stories will only get better and better.” Apart from LOST, he’s also working on another small zine focusing on stories about farmers and craftsmen.