I am BACK!!! (Well, I have been back for a while now, however I was really caught up with my work.)
For my interlude, I want to introduce you to the Carton King of 清境(pronounced qing1 jing4). Located a one and a half hour journey from Taichung, 1700m above sea level, the district overlooks the Taiwanese “alps” and is also known to be the Switzerland of Taiwan. Some buildings in the area have stretched the idea of Switzerland to the extreme, with architecture similar to that of the Europeans’ – a black and white timber hotel as well as a few brightly coloured buildings that bring to mind Tudor architecture. One of those buildings is home to the “Carton King”.
Now as some of you might have guessed, the Carton King is not really a person to see in action but the concept of taking cardboard and changing it into other forms. The shop is decorated with many cardboard based item. as you enter the shop, you will be greeted by a small cardboard house. Its roof and walls made with a mix of corrugated cardboard panels that give the house both strength and texture. If you turn right, a short corridor will open out into a cozy little souvenir shop made up of two spaces, both of which house countless cardboard products for sale. These items range from phone cases to toys and even bags and tablet cases. I am not really sure if these creations are recycled from used cardboard (as there are too many products to be made of the same medium), but it really inspires viewers to attempt to do just that. With the cardboard packaging that we receive our televisions, phones, blenders, etc. we can in actual fact, with a little bit of effort and a great deal of imagination, manipulate them and transform them into items that we can use for our everyday life.
On the left, there are a few edible products for sale. Obviously they are not edible cardboard, however, the packaging is truly interesting. In line with the theme of the place, most of the box materials are in their raw state – corrugated or solid cardboard in that brown earthy colour.
But the artistic, inspiring and innovative creations do not stop there. Outside, next to a 7-eleven stands two small shops selling all sorts of “indie” wears, cards, etc. Above the 7-eleven stands a restaurant serving fusion cuisine. However, the food is not what stands out, rather the furniture that you dine on will catch your eye – they are all made of cardboard. By manipulating the materials in such an innovative manner, the manufacturer truly stretches the material to its limits, making a seemingly “fragile” and everyday material into something functional.
Truly inspiring. Nuff said.
Await the final act….