Settlers museum to explore development of chindogu

Otago Settlers Museum organisers are keen to further develop a popular chindogu exhibition which has been running at the museum, in association with the 2011 Dunedin Fringe Festival. The show features inventions based on the strange Japanese art of chindogu.

These devices aim to make everyday life a little easier, but are so impractical they are almost useless. At a settlers museum board meeting yesterday, member Richard Thomson referred to the latest annual show, which runs until April 3.

He noted the success of Steampunk activities in Oamaru and said the chindogu show in Dunedin could be further developed as an attraction that would "catch the imagination of a different group of people".

He suggested adding to the show some early invention-related patent applications, which could provide a link to early history.

In Oamaru, several activities, including a Steampunk fashion parade and gala ball, involving a quirky Victorian science fiction approach, have been organised by an award-winning group, the League of Victorian Imagineers.

During yesterday's meeting, another museum board member, Lee Vandervis, said the Steampunk spirit shown in Oamaru could also be adapted to promote Dunedin's industrial heritage. He planned to discuss the idea with the Dunedin Gasworks Museum organisers.

Commenting in a later interview, settlers museum director Linda Wigley said she much admired the creativity generated by both the Dunedin chindogu show and the Steampunk activities.

Care was needed to ensure there was no accidental treading on the toes of the Oamaru Steampunk organisers.

She noted Mr Thomson's comments and was also enthusiastic about further developing the chindogu show.


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