Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Do ceramics and vending machines have anything in common?

It's always interesting about the value of art.  Here's one young mans experiment.

18-year-old SOTA student, Hans Chew hand-threw 360 ceramics over two months and placed them in a vending machine to challenge his audience to think about how much they value art. 

 Hans Chew Ceramics vending machine SOTA
18-year-old SOTA student Hans Chew Ziyang created a customised
vending machine dispensing 360 ceramic wares made by hand.

At first glance, Hans Chew’s vending machine may not look out of the ordinary. Standing in the School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA), it blends right in to its surroundings – why would anyone bat an eyelid at a vending machine, especially in a school, where most of its students are probably fueled on microwave foods and fizzy drinks anyway?

But take a step closer and you’ll find this is no ordinary machine. Because far from your usual soda-dispensing gadget, this particular vending machine houses some 360 ceramic wares hand-thrown by the 18-year-old SOTA student.

Inspired by peculiar vending machines he saw while on a trip to Japan, which peddle everything from your usual canned drinks and snacks to commodities such as lettuce, surgical masks, instant noodles, condoms and even shoes, to name a few, Hans began reflecting on how art – ceramics in particularly – has been commoditised.

“Ultimately we have been very much desensitised from the process of “making” and are fed with this deluge of products that we consume at face value,” he shares with Contented. “Personally, I find it extremely hard to grapple with this issue as I question myself: How is functional crockery made? Where are they made? How are they able to produce them at such a scale?”.....Read more

Ceramic wares had to be carefully packaged, with sponges and foam added to the vending machine to prevent the wares from breaking when dispensed.Timothy Ng Jingzhi

Seemingly identical pieces priced differently, giving the audience the chance to decide how much they value ceramic wares.Timothy Ng Jingzhi

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