19.8平方販賣機 /19.8m2 Gachapon Machine

詹詠幀 Chan, Yung-Jen

2015-

「人生就像扭蛋機,你永遠不知道你下一個抽到的是什麼。」 

以在一次的聊天過程中,偶然獲得了一句話當作發想,我試圖用這個作為傳播形式,以扭蛋機器為中心,成為某種發散器。

 

扭蛋是從8、90世代開始流行的玩具,緣起於日本,後在亞洲廣泛的出現於便利商店、賣場,或是扭蛋專賣店中。在台灣,便利商店分布極密,可能沒走幾步、巷子頭與尾都可以見到,因此門口的扭蛋機也是常見的風景。在我的生長背景中,扭蛋亦是不可或缺的角色。扭蛋的客戶年齡層分布廣,從孩童到大人都有,而內容物多是各種不具功能性的玩偶或裝飾玩具。這項玩具最特別(也最惱人)的是,從機器轉出前,你無法知道你會不會獲得你想要的那款玩偶,每次轉動便成為一種驚喜或反驚喜。其價格低廉(只需要零錢),是一個得到門檻低,不需要擁有雄厚資本即可獲得的娛樂經驗,因此廣為民眾所愛。換而言之,扭蛋可以說是極貼近生活的一項平民玩具。

 

​可愛收集家

對我而言,這種以收集「可愛」為嗜好的集體行為很貼近日常,那就像是一種都市人抒發或是安定心神的儀式,目的在於為了排解城市生活中的碎小苦悶,從日復一日的重複生活中找點速食又成本不高的樂子。於是我嘗試用另一種方式來討論人類對可愛的執著與偏執,是不是正因為某層面的生活過分匱乏,才需要透過堆積來防患未然?此系列〈19.8平方販賣機〉自2015年開始,乍看之下與日常所見的扭蛋無異,灰色機台,透明的壓克力窗戶嵌著廣告,上面有一組數個「看起來好像滿可愛」的小物件,配上一個隱藏版玩具,主題是與房間有關的,隱約可見裡頭色彩繽紛的圓形塑膠殼。以扭蛋作為轉介方式,〈19.8平方販賣機〉呈現都市限縮尺寸內的微觀世界。19.8平方相當於台灣丈量單位的6坪,是台北小套房的常見尺寸。我將套房生活的種種事件與關係,包裝在「可愛」裡,試圖利用扭蛋機器早已存在於日常的傳播系統,人群透過零錢交換扭蛋(可愛)來短暫逃離現實生活,將扭蛋(可愛)帶回現實生活擺設,但這些扭蛋(可愛)卻也在書桌上的並置反映或對照出現時,在房間、在書桌、在櫃子上展現逃離與投射、真與假。

“Life is like Gachapon. You never know what you will get next.”

My friend said to me, when we were chatting one time.

    ‘Gachapon’ is a Japanese word, an onomatopoeia composed of two sound: ‘gacha’ and ‘pon’, one is for turning the crank, the other one is to simulate the sound when toys drop down. Some people also said ‘gacha’ means ‘got you’, like every time we ‘get’ a capsule ball from the vending machine. These toy vending machines first showed up in the US, but changed a lot and became more prevalent in Japan. Japanese capsule toys are very popular since late 80s, and also popular in other Asian countries like Taiwan where I was born and raised. It’s very common to see Gachapon machines in my country, in toys shops, stores, supermarkets, convenience stores. Since the density of convenience stores in Taiwan is very high, sometimes you can see two in one small lane, you can get Gachapon almost every day. The age distribution of their customers is wide, from children to adult, these capsule toys has accompanied with us since we were very young. The characteristic of the vending machine is you can’t choose which you want in the machine, you always get a random toy of 8~10 the whole set. Every time you twist the crank is like a surprise. It’s an entertainment experience you don’t need to pay many money. In other words, these having-fun-with-a-low-price experiences let Gachapon to be close to normal people’s normal life.

"Collecting Cuteness"

    For me, the collective behavior that many people are interested in collecting these ‘small cute things’ is like a ritual that purpose is to resolve, or to escape from the depression of everyday routine. People tried to find some small excitant, like coffee, fast food, cigarettes, or alcohol in boring repeated life. I attempt to use another way to discuss humans’ attachment to lovely things, is it because we all lack something in some part, and that make us want to rich in other ways through the action of collecting small cute things? I made a series of works called 19.8m2 Gachapon Machine, it looks just like the ones we almost pass by every day expect of it was colored into gray. The transparent acrylic window embedded the advertised poster, with a group of cute-looking little toys, which are in some colorful plastic capsules. People could tell the theme is related to a room, ‘A set of toys about room,’ they may think.

    Through those Gachapon toys, 19.8m2 Gachapon Machine presents a shrinking size of the city, of the life. 19.8 square meters is about 6 pings, a Taiwanese measuring unit, and the size is a common size of small suites in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan. I made sculptures of the people, things, relationships, events...in a small suite, and packaged them into "cute" toys, and tried to use the machine as a spreading system, through the exchange of money to cuteness, people buy some (cute) toys to escape from the real life temporarily, and take these (cute) toys back to their real life. The cute toys about a room in reality are put into a room in reality. How cute were the toy doesn’t matter anymore, the reality is everywhere, in the room, on the desk, on the bed, inside you, even in your lovely toys. We can’t escape from it.

© 2018 by CHAN YUNG-JEN