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A large, life-size replica of a vending machine with all the right buttons and features, including a cute label that says "Aesthetic! Trendy! Asian Vending Machine". . Though beaten and dirt-ridden on the outside, the inside remains in perfect conditions. The outside is covered in graphic posters and articles relating to the part of Asian culture that is hated and demonized among society. The inside is illuminated with LED lights and displays rows of delicious Asian snacks that have been altered and customized to fit Western preferences. Each product has been personally designed by us to show unauthentic cuisine that has been ruled as cultural food.

Aesthetic! Trendy! Asian Vending Machine

Elaine Liu and Sue-Min (Iris) Jung

Foam board, Spray paint, Digital graphic posters, Acrylic paint, LED Lights, etc.

This is a collaborative work by Elaine Liu and Sue-Min (Iris) Jung. Through this project, we intend to discuss the social phenomena in Western culture where East Asian culture is selectively consumed. With our similar backgrounds and experiences, we have noticed that there has been a rise in Asian trends within social media and society. What was once rejected and demonized by Western culture has now been called aesthetic and cutesy. We chose to showcase our feelings with this drastic change in acceptance through a vending machine installation. We hope to convey the essence of a vending machine, where consumers can selectively choose accessible items with ease. The outside of the vending machine displays the hate and vicious words we have received, starting as far back as adolescence. In contrast, the inside is kept in pristine condition to represent the idolized features and cuisine Western society now considers fun and interesting. The juxtaposition between the inside and the outside represents how some of our culture is commercialized rather than being fully accepted. Regarding the products inside, though they may seemingly look authentic, they are altered and customized to satisfy the Western taste and preferences.