HAPPENINGText: Shinichi Ishikawa

© Sony Creative Products Inc.

“Omocha” means “a toy” in Japanese. I like the sound of this word. The word “toy” sounds nice as well. The title of the film “Toy Story” is pretty simple but makes me excited. What is the representation of “toy” which adults can enjoy playing? Playstaion? That’s not so bad but I don’t feel that machine is a toy. Typing a keyboard, watching a display at work and holding a game-controller at home. Doesn’t it make you tired? Getting tired by a toy should not happen. I think there is a meaning of “innocent”, “low technology” and “universally enjoyable” in the sound of “omocha”. I want to seek a feeling of ease from omocha. The building blocks from a Swiss toy company, Naef is a perfect toy for me. The world is full of technologies now. I want to play with a toy without electronic tips and batteries. I enjoy touching, looking at them from different angles, placing them at different places of a room… I want to call toys, which can be enjoyed in those ways, “omocha”.

Today, many works are created with computers, transferred as the digital information and presented on web sites. The web is getting easy and common place to present works now. The number of times when we look at hot expressions on www has definitely increased. This is related to a trend that artists found web pages easy way to present their works. Before the Internet came out, artists spent a lot of time and money to hold their own exhibitions because that was the only way to express. However, they have got the Internet now and I strongly feel that this is a media for them.

Let’s go back to the story of “toy”. The works in a display are hip but cannot be a toy for me. Even if they move or make sound in the display, they are not acceptable. Toys should be touchable. Digital data is also not acceptable. But I want to get a toy of my favourite artist! The project, which I would like to introduce in this time, will solve this problem. “Time Capsule project” has been launched with the concept “capsule toys for adults”. Figures in capsules will be sold from vending machines called “Gacha Gacha ” and the exhibition about it will be held as well.

Jim Woodring, James Jarvis, Pete Fowler, Groovisions, Hitoshi Odajima and others were chosen as the hot artists for this project. The figures designed by them are available at Sony Plaza in Pivot and at the select shop KI:n%Hz in Sapporo. Selling will continuously last including renewing of the figures.

The exhibition will be held at Soso Cafe from Monday the 11th of February. The original items such as sticker and bags are available there. I would first like to mention that the quality of the figures is quite high. Three hundred yen is very cheap for it. I can feel the belief and love of all staff, who worked for this project, to these figures from the point that the artists’ sense has conscientiously been expressed in the figures. American music, bad boys, Monstering, working crews, Japanese music from 50s to 2000… all figures were created with these themes and you will feel familiarity to them.

It is quite enjoyable to play with them after the hustle and bustle day. I like Groovisions the best. The clothes that Chappy is wearing are very cute. Unfortunately, I have not got the one where Chappy wears a boarder lines cloth yet and I would like to get this figure the best. I’ll save coins and go to the shops to get it tomorrow. Or, if you’ve got that one, can you swap it for mine?

Time Capsule – Art Toy Project Exhibition
Date: February 11th – March 9th, 2002
Place: Soso Cafe
Address: 1F Sansei Bld., South 1 West 13 Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Tel: +81 (0)11 280 2240

Text: Shinichi Ishikawa
Translation: Sachiko Kurashina

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