- Introduce ‘gashapon machines’ into UK vocabulary and culture.
- Highlight the increasing influence of Japanese culture in western countries and the novelty or alienation it entails.
- Outline the functionality of gashapon machines (collectable item sets for children and adults).
- Explore the notion of collecting objects in order to create a sense of purpose and belonging.
- Design and make sets of gashapon which reinforce personal identity within cultural (or graphic?) contexts.
My FMP is based upon the gashapon machine. These Japanese vending machines have suddenly emerged in many European cities within the past few years, creating a highly visible icon of global culture. In Japan, gashapon machines enjoy a cult status because they dispense collectable sets of toys or novelty items which are extremely popular with all age groups (not just children). My aim is to explore the human obsession for collecting things and how this creates a sense of purpose and identity.
The location, content and functionality of a gashapon machine make these urges particularly acute, thus I plan to place several in the degree show to tempt visitors into collecting a slice (or more) of Chelsea! The exact contents are yet to be decided though I'm leaning towards themes of culture and/or graphics. In Japan, gashapon machines always contain things relevant to their environment (machines in a red-light district will actually dispense vibrators and thongs), so it seems appropriate, albeit slightly obvious, to link one in a degree show with design.