Living in a country where, when it comes to office equipment, paper records reign supreme and the fax machine is still de rigueur, it sometimes takes a gentle nudge to remind you that Japan is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. The new exhibition opening at Eye of Gyre gallery in Harajuku on November 24th is set to do just that, with what is being called the “worlds first 3D printing photo booth”. The 3D printer is something I guess every home will have in the next ten years, yet it still feels like the stuff of science fiction to most of us, as not many have had the chance to actually try this new technology.
The idea is simple; the printer lays down tiny pieces of plastic which are fused together to form a solid 3D object which can be any shape that the machine is instructed to make – anything from a coffee cup to a cat. At this new exhibition you can have your portrait taken by the team, but instead of getting a neatly framed snap, you will receive a perfectly formed miniature replica of yourself printed using a 3D printer….Your very own ‘mini-me’.
There are three sizes available (10cm, 15cm and 20cm) and the prices are 21000yen, 32000yen and 42000yen respectively (there is a discount if you can get a group of you together for the photo-shoot). The photo booth will run from November 24th 2012 until January 14th 2013 and reservations can only be made through their website. With the popularity of puri-kura and the Japanese love of the latest fads, I think this is going to be very popular indeed.
For more information and reservations please visit the Omote 3D Shasin-Kan website.
Words: Mark Birtles
Translation: Iona Nagata
November 21, 2012