In April 2022, an NFT vending machine spontaneously appeared on the street of Kabukicho in Tokyo, Japan's largest red-light district. The machine instantly became a trend on Twitter, and it has been sold out every day. This is a guerilla campaign from the NFT project, “THE LAUGHING MAN” series. The vending machine sells the club’s membership cards wrapped in silver envelopes, objects with NFC tags, and members-only exhibition tickets. When you send your membership number and wallet address to the designated form, NFT will be sent to you. Although NFTs are digital datas, the series is currently only available in real venues.
The project uses the motif of the “Tears of Joy", the most used emoji in online communication; and is also influenced by several works bearing the name of "The Laughing Man", such as the J.D. Salinger's novel, and the mysterious figure from the anime "Ghost in the Shell". Unlike other existing NFT projects, the outline and roadmap are not disclosed. While intersecting the digital world and reality, details of the club will gradually be revealed via members-only newsletters and exhibitions in a manner similar to a Real Escape Game.
Shōei says, "I see the real world as a metaverse meta. People who are not yet interested in NFT or who do not have a wallet can participate, so that more people can experience the idea of NFT and Web3. I am designing this kind of experience.
Venue: Decameron, Tokyo, JP
Date: April 29 – May 29, 2022
Medium: Vending machine, acrylic cube, NFC tag, etc.
Design Collaboration: Daichi Aijima
Photo Credit: Hidemasa Miyake, Naoki Takehisa