936 Chung Kind Road is now home to a strange experiment: a no-frills room of vending machines and picnic tables. The machines dispense snacks and sodas of the world market variety, not the typical snickers and coca-cola, and the whole environment strikes me as refreshing because of its lack of pretension.
Called Automat, this snack shop resonates with the composed coolness of a gallery more than with the fullness of the nearby shops and restaurants. When I first saw it, I was sure it was some sort of venture into relational aesthetics. But, even if it is a Bourriaud-inspired undertaking, it doesn’t ask much of its visitors. You can wander in and wander out without engaging with anyone or anything. Its existence is unobtrusively witty.