Simon Fuh,  夾槟榔機 (Betel Nut Claw Machine)  2017

Simon Fuh, 夾槟榔機 (Betel Nut Claw Machine) 2017

 

In August 2017, I undertook a month-long residency with the City of Hualien, Taiwan. I worked in collaboration with

local artists and community organizers for a weekend pop-up market and cultural venue called Ruins Market. 

 

Under the supervision of a local marble sculptor, I made 150 marble betel nuts (檳榔) and placed them in a claw 

machine covered in LED lights and signage, thereby creating the first ever 夾槟機 (Betel Nut Claw Machine). The 

game was playable for $10 NT. 

 

Sometimes referred to as "Taiwanese chewing gum", betel nuts are a decreasingly common natural chewable, and

known carcinogen. Their history in Taiwan and much of Southeast Asia dates back hundreds of years and has deep

roots throughout Indigenous cultures across the region. Today, they are linked to blue collar shift work, as chewing

them has an effect on the body similar to that of caffeine. During the country's rapid "Tiger" growth in the

1970's, it is said that workers were often given the nuts to increase productivity, leading to widespread addiction. 

 
BNCM 2small.jpg

Simon Fuh

夾槟榔機 (Betel Nut Claw Machine)

Marble, Preserved Lau Ye, LED Lights, Claw Machine

2017

 Simon Fuh and respectfulchild, Still of  InInHuaHuaLienLien,  2017.

Simon Fuh and respectfulchild, Still of InInHuaHuaLienLien, 2017.

During the residency, I also worked in collaboration with performance artist respectfulchild (Melissa Gan)

in the creation of an ambient sound/video installation at Ruins Market. In communication over social media, I shared

various images and local soundscapes that the artist responded to through musical composition. We were grounded

in an interest of understanding Asian history and geographies through digital and social media, and how our dislocated,

mediated communication manifests.