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Komura; book fair pushes the boundaries
of storytelling in the Philippines
INQUIRER.net BrandRoom | May 31, 2018

Supported by homegrown logistics company Xend, Warehouse Eight together with Kwago is bringing Komura; book fair back with new pockets of experiences and initiatives to enjoy and help imagine what storytelling could become. 

Another intimate gathering of independent and specialty press, experimental storytellers, and art and book shops around the Philippines, the second iteration of Komura; is happening on June 16, 2018 at Warehouse Eight, La Fuerza compound, Makati City. Featuring exciting new sections and programs, next month’s Komura; is comprised of:

Komura; Pixel – local indie video games and immersive storytelling in tech
Komura; Playground – shared space for individual zine makers experimenting on print
Komura; Studio – visual poetry and zine workshops
Komura; Creators Grant – funding a local creative with a crazy idea
Echoes – stripped down gigs featuring musicians as storytellers; a platform to express
Book Bar – fiction-inspired cocktails and coffee
Vinyl and lounge area – musicians selling EPs and old records from their personal collection

A favorite workspace of young creative entrepreneurs in Makati, Warehouse Eight is all about designing unique experiences and disrupting the status quo to create something new and worth going to. For Komura;, the 2-year-old co-working space want to surprise its growing community by breaking everyone’s expectations of what a typical book fair should be. “We want Komura; to be a place where you can discover new artists and writers otherwise unknown, not just a place to buy and sell books. You go there to connect, discuss, have a beer with and initiate meaningful conversations with creators in the community,” Warehouse Eight co-owner and Komura; co-founder Kayla Dionisio shared.
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More than a book fair at Komura's second run
Rappler.com  |  June 20, 2018

June 16 saw another edition of the Komura Book Fair unfolding at Warehouse Eight in Makati, and much like the first, it lived up to its promise of being “experience-driven."

Many things about Komura were creative and fun, obviously coming from the minds of people who themselves frequent book fairs and aimed to create their perfect one. In this case, those two people are Komura founders Czyka Tumaliuan and Kayla Dionisio.

On the way into the book fair itself, a VR station was set up with Ready Player One at the ready.

Nearby, there was also a bucket full of “Honesty Beer” – where you can get as many bottles as you please, and pay the appropriate amount on trust basis. (Where else can you browse books while downing a cold one?)

In the beehive that was the book fair, the organizers set aside a space for a dedicated reading nook, making sure that introverts had a space where they could recover, kids had a space to play, and anyone who needed to had an area where they can wait out an existential crisis.

And then of course, there was the book fair itself, which involved the sale of books, old records, stickers, artwork, and other geeky curios.

The “experience-driven” part of the fair was perhaps delivered in the way the items on sale were displayed – that is, in a ragtag manner, a bit of a jumble, as if a bunch of random people simply happened across whatever empty space there was and spontaneously decided to lay out a mat and display their treasured wares.
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How This Indie Book Fair Infuses Old Ideals Into a Disrupted Industry
Inc. Southeast Asia | Dec  1, 2017

Nearly two decades after Amazon.com wiped out most booksellers in the United States, there has been a resurgence of the indie bookstore which prides itself on curation and community.

The book scene in Southeast Asia has undergone a far less cataclysmic change, but that’s not stopping Kayla Dionisio and Czyka Tumaliuan from trying to infuse the industry with old ideals. They felt that existing book fairs in the Philippines were less about the literary community and more about bookstores trying to get rid of surplus stock.

According to Dionisio, they started indie book fair Komura; to bring back the feeling of wonder in discovering a great book.

“We wanted to create a gathering conducive for genuine conversations and connections with the ones who create the books and the ones who read them — that is often lost in highly commercial fairs that treat book buying as a sheer business transaction,” she says.

The branding of Komura; was designed to appeal to this community. In Haruki Murakami’s novel “Kafka on the Shore,” the protagonist runs away from home and lives in a library called Komura Memorial Library.

“We placed a semicolon after the word Komura; to highlight how we want the book fair to be a place where independent energies are united without losing their essence, like how a semicolon connects independent clauses,” says Tumaliuan.

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Komura; book fair celebrates different forms of storytelling
Tempo.com.ph | November 22, 2017

Supported by Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Warehouse Eight together with Kwago organized the first experience-driven book fair that features different ways to tell a story on November 18, 2017 at Warehouse Eight, La Fuerza compound, Makati City.

Artists Asch, Lions and Acrobats, Niki Colet, Alyana Lea Carmela, and Hoochie Coochie Mikkie bare their insides through music at Echoes at the Warehouse. Chibot Media set up a Virtual Reality (VR) booth and introduced book lovers to a new form of storytelling. Exesanonymous.com made an award-winning play come alive. Zine artists and independent publishers showed the beauty of experimentation and of exploring new methods of presenting a narrative in print to enrich the experience of readers.

With an aim to be a literary respite, an escape from reality, Komura; book fair focused on letting people experience literature because schools gave it a bad reputation by always associating reading with amassing information—textbooks, not with happiness and imagination.

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WATCH: This 'experience-driven' book fair is
inspired by Haruki Murakami
Rappler.com | November 18, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – Looking for quirky art and new stories? The Komura Book Fair gathers independent bookstores and local artists’ work, so you can find them all in one place.

Inspired by Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, founders Kayla Dionisio and Czyka Tumaliuan decided to marry a traditional book fair with other forms of storytelling – music, theater, and even virtual reality – for a more intimate, “experience-driven” fair. “ is a literary respite where people can chill with friends and talk about stories they love,” their official event page aptly describes.

After buying books and comics from the independent bookstores, brands, publishers, and art shops at the fair, customers can sit at a cozy area to read, enjoy live music, or even sip on a beer or two.

Currently on its first year, Komura Book Fair is being held on Saturday, November 18, at Warehouse Eight, La Fuerza Compound, Makati. Tickets are priced at Php 200 and come with a short story from the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

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  • Morning reads on our experience focused book fair with Kwago✨ Komura; on Nov 18! Details: Bit.ly/komurabookfair