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Asian Geographic Best Cover 2019

Asian Geographic Best Cover 2019 Donell Gumiran and Shellen Teh

Every issue of Asian Geographic is dear to the hearts of our readers, with each representing different meanings to different audience with the same love for Asia.

As part of Asian Geographic 20th Anniversary celebration, we are proud to announce the most-voted “Asian Geographic Best Cover 2019”. The public online voting campaign ended on 15 November 2019, and voters of the winning ‘Best Cover’ will receive the Asian Geographic 20th Anniversary e-Magazine.

Featuring the Top 20 of Asian Geographic Best Cover, the magazine aims to honour and recognise the award-winning and outstanding editors, collaborators, writers and photographers that have made their strong presence felt on the pulse of Asia and the world, through visual communication and powerful stories. Since its inception in 1999, the emphasis on “Asia without Borders” expresses Asia’s diversity, vitality and dynamism through topical issues as environmental, science exploration, travel, heritage, arts and cultures.

Top 20 of Asian Geographic Best Cover

AG 50 Issue 11/2007 – Asia Without Colours
Cover Photo by Munem Wasif

An annual photo edition with a twist – mesmerizing Asia in black and white; “streets & skylines” uncovers biodiversity hotspots, old towns, Mongol Mirages of desertification, urban walls and old transport methods; “call of the wild” on vanishing endangered giants, black markets and ocean’s six best of what lies beneath; “face forward” showcases the portraits of ethnic minorities and the elders; “work shift” reveals the Toil tale of Jute mills in crisis, fishing stock crash, the life of sand miners, refugees in Kabul’s, and the transsexuals of Karachi.

AG 58 Issue 8/2008 – Asia’s Extinct Ones
Cover Art by Annie Tan

This wild edition honours the region’s iconic species, pays tribute to Asian extinctions, and exhibits vibrant wildlife photography. The links between humanity and the natural world are reassessed, and so are the clashes between conservation and commercialism. The life of tuna cowboys of Kiamba unfolds the many layers between sea to mouth, that almost everyone is blind about the killing on fishing, featuring the trading, selling, serving, buying and distributing the yellowfish tuna.

AG 64 Issue 3/2009 – Green Efforts, Gilded Future?
Cover Art by Jitet Koestana

Pessimistic confutes are unfortunately familiar narratives. The global challenges, potential resource scarcity and increased epidemic places an unsettling reality in our future. Saving machines for animal and earth don’t materialise overnight. Instead of ignoring the possible catastrophe, sustainable practices and better personal choice could be adopted. Moving the world to be a better place takes one step at a time.

AG 65 Issue 4/2009 – Crossing Comfort Zones
Cover Photo by Dominic Rouse

This taboo edition explores deep traditions, outrageous sites, moments in between the realm of the inside and out, records by war photographers the moments that should not be forgotten, the alternative normality that underscores the issue of human’s physical manifestation and segregation, the perfect place in certain countries to die, and Insights into the human soul.

AG 69 Issue 8/2009 – My Asia, Portrait Edition
Cover Photo by Steve McCurry

The search for breathtaking visuals by talented amateur and professional photographers capturing the amazing facets of Asia’s land, people, architecture and wildlife happened in the form of ASIAN Geographic’s photography competition, with categories in four different themes: Faces of the Earth, Faces of Asia, Faces of the Wild and Faces of Freedom. After the foreword by Steve McCurry, be enchanted by the works of the photography competition judges, the grand prize and top two winners from each category, a series of selection that deeply impacted the judges, and a gallery of Monks Across Asia, fourteen years of Buddhism post-war through the lens of a Vietnamese-born American photographer.

AG 77 Issue 8/2010 – Rhythm Nation
Cover Photo by Manuel Librodo

With foreword by Michael Yamashita, this issue features the sounds of Asia, capturing the rhythms and the pulse of the continent. The music of Asia is as varied as it’s cultures, from the drums at a Japanese harvest festival to the melodic strains of the gamelan and the high-pitched wails of Beijing Opera. Sound of Asia is also found in the chanting of Buddhist monks, the pop of a wedding celebration, cacophony of construction in Shanghai and the hawkers at food stalls and markets. Every sound conjures up an image waiting to be captured in a photograph. Indulge in the carnival of imagery, visualization and revelations, and witness the magnificent moments in celebration of the Festivals, Adventures, People and Children of Asia.

AG 85 Issue 4/2011 – Compelling Legacies
Cover Art by Amedeo Preziosi

Confronting a sensitive topic, The Cultures of Islam Edition delves deeply into the heritage and culture of a rich and fascinating history, both recent and past. This issue is also one of ASIAN Geographic’s most challenging for two reasons. Firstly, it is the approach of emulating the Arabic way of reading from right to left and secondly, three of the feature stories within came in both English and Arabic – something that has never been done before in a mainstream magazine with a readership similar to ASIAN Geographic’s. It i a team effort that realised awards ASIAN Geographic magazine has won over the months. Amongst the long turmoil in the Middle East, the beauty it offers is easily forgotten. Explore the rare moments in here.

AG 85 Issue 8/2011 – Wildlife Edition
Cover Photo by Edwin Giesbers

As seen in the foreword of Paul Nicklen, the life of a photographer can be far from glamour, adventure and fame, and often it is a very humbling profession. The hidden sacrifices necessary to produce the kind of coverage that can make an enormous difference. Wildlife photographers are allowed to experience and encounter amazing wildlife in some of the most remote and rugged places on our planet, and to bring back stories that matter to the survival and conservation of the animals and ecosystems. Imagine the incredible experience of walking through the forest with a spirit bear, swimming with humpbacks, diving with thousands of penguins, or having a moment of intelligent communication with a leopard seal, wildlife photographer are committed and live for them.

AG 88 Issue 3/2012 – Money
Cover Art by C.K. Wilde

A single banknote in hand has never felt so intense before. The accumulated weight of the various aspects of history has made today’s banknote what it is, a heavy one laden with the psychology of war, nationalism, monumentalism and art with a purpose. Its existence alone has etched out the path of the simple attainment of an object to intricate life aspects in politics, culture, heritage and human nature. May we also ponder on its true value, paralleling moments when a humble amount of money can still do great things.

AG 90 Issue 5/2012 – Peculiar Protuberances

The human foot is the first point of contact between the body and the external environment, while touch is first and foremost done with our hands. The metaphoric implications of touch – and its relevance to our wants and needs – make a handprint more substantial than any physical remains. Touch is a fundamental need. A man with bare feet is stripped of a whole lot of facades, it is more honest and humbling than a bare body. Thus, it is fascinating to observe veneration at the giant naked feet of gods, where something so modest and starkly chaste has such reverence placed upon it. This issue carries within its pages the preciousness of life within our hands and the weight of living we bear upon our feet.

AG 95 Issue 2/2013 – Surviving Deterioration
Cover Photo by Dr Glenn Losack

It is the basic of life’s cycle. While we shudder from so much that has degenerated or died, or been adulterated or impaired, it may be the only thing that allows for a chance at development, germination, growth or ripening. On a more abstract level, Ernst Fischer, a Bohemian-born Austrian journalist, writer and politician, observed that in a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable and help to change it. We pay homage to Earth’s decay and the lessons it constantly tries to teach us: survival, death and rebirth.

AG 99 Issue 6/2013 – Afterlife
Cover Art by Maxfield Parrish

From the political to the social to the simple need of faith, lives have been filled with tales of gods and angels, as well as ghosts and the devil. It entertained, terrified and amused; for some, it was the beginning of worlds beyond we could only imagine. The West has gravitated to this haunting perception of the Asian ghosts like a moth to a flame. On the flipside, the Asian gods continue to evoke powerful reactions from those who remain admirably close to the diverse Asian roots. Faith sewn into the very fabric of culture and heritage keeps many in fervent strive to appease deities. Enjoy this spectacular edition with the lights on if needed.

AG 110 Issue 2/2015 – Mankind Tiniest
Cover Art by Sebastien Plailly

Most of us tend to take the big picture into account and the majority of the lesser moments are so easily forgotten. Wisdom, however, has often whispered counsel of how such “minuscule” instances make up the most important of worth at life’s end. Ironic? Such junctures are celebrated in this issue of ASIAN Geographic, reminding how the little things are indeed overlooked – if not somewhat disregarded – building blocks and noteworthy fillers of a gratifying existence.

AG 113 Issue 4/2015 – The Singapore Story
Cover Art by Marcus Lim

When America struggled with racial acceptance in 1964, the Peranakans in Singapore were garnering an eclectic mix of friends to run around with; a shining example of successful integration. Within, every page celebrates the history and heritage of what it is to be truly Singaporean. This includes the riots of 1964 and 1950, along with other uprisings. However, since 1965, 50 years of progress has always triumphed. ASIAN Geographic is honoured in this issue to highlight many significant Singaporeans, all pillars in their own right. We salute a rare nation, an island treasure, a place many more will call home.

AG 122 Issue 6/2016 – Oriental Origins
Cover Photo by Steve McCurry

What makes us human? This issue addresses the origins of all things in the way of the human condition. Baffling explanations include accidental genetic advantage in evolution, mental faculty for reasoning, imagination, the religious beliefs and the capacity for morality and immorality. Explore the evidence of our artistic ability in ancient cave art; rituals of worshipping several gods were narrowed down to reverence for one almighty being. War became a common currency. Ever the proactive mammal, we invented artefacts to build, beautify and cure.

AG 126 Issue 4/2017 – Eyes Wide Open
Cover Art by Badiucao

Bigots in the big seats of government, and news of terrorist attacks increasingly appeared our newsfeeds. In Cambodia, rats are sniffing out landmines and youth from Israel and Palestine are engaging in the hope of eliminating their inheritance of hatred. Countries isolated for decades since Cold War have emerged onto the world stage. With guidance from the Democracy Index, we have mapped out the political landscape of Asia. The transition to democracy is rarely smooth, and Myanmar is terribly impacted by civil strife between armed ethnic groups. Artists have challenged the status quo at great personal cost. We champion the bravery of these revolutionaries making themselves heard in the region.

AG 130 Issue 2/2018 – Traditional Practices
Cover Photo by Donell Gumiran

What is tradition? A loving protection and willing maintenance of ancient observances? Even the slightest renewal of interest in a past custom might revive a fading subculture from the brink. But this era’s theme seems largely defined by the underdog tribe’s failure to resist bartering unique heritage for a share in progress – meaning ways of life, like monkey hunting and corpse care, are pretty much doomed. Faced with social exclusion and poverty, it is easy to sympathise with these people. Traditional practices are a connection to eras past, and enrich our world with their wonderful diversity.

AG 134 Issue 1/2019 – Taste of Waste

The progress in our environmental journey comes with unexpected and unaffordable prices. Like an ungrateful child who has turned against his mother, we callously strip Earth of the treasures it provides us with. With the spotlight on plastic pollution, look at the history of this man-made monster and how various factors like mindless consumption, cultural beliefs and poor waste management have led to severe pollution of rivers in Asia. Viable solutions to our plastic problem as well as the emissions from burning fuel for energy, major contributors of climate change, are explored. The clock is ticking; the time to act is now.

AG 135 Issue 2/2019 – Mobile Generation

The number of worldwide mobile phone users is projected to grow to 5.8 billion in 2025. Smartphones only started becoming common a decade ago. Widely used till the 1990s, coin and card operated payphones relics are still relevant and constitute a fond memory to many. The mobile phone has became an integral part of daily lives that living without it can be a nerve-racking ordeal. This issue delineates conveniences and problems our usage of mobile phones has brought, the dirty, perilous conditions from which our mobile phones came, the Unethical Practices That Power Our Smartphones, and the harm of environment in our pursue of convenience. The compact gadget has obsoleted many items. But hopefully, face-to-face human interaction will not be one of them.

AG 121 Passport 2016-2017 – Travel Through History
Cover Photo by David Sharabani

Recall that emotional convergence of shock and exhilaration in being utterly displaced. Or that first encounter with how other cultures stereotype your nationality. Many a philosophical quote gushes on how travel allows us to assimilate culture, expand our minds, challenge our perspectives, and so on. Tourism is a loaded word. Tourist or a traveller? In this special issue of Passport – pack a punch with the sacred art of Muay Thai, get inked by a true tattoo master, leave your shoes at the door and take a pilgrimage, or watch a mystical river serpent shoot fireballs above the Mekong – and share your own cultural knowledge with those whom you meet along the way.