Latrinxia: A New Utopia, 2019
Supported by Seoul Foundation of Arts and Culture
Exhibited at 5%, Seoul, Korea, 2019

Latrinxia: A New Utopia, 2019, 3D printed plastic, silicon tube, water pump, dimensions variable.

Ttongkko-Chung (anus-worm), 2019, anus silicone casting, silicone tube, dimensions variable.

Anus Baptizes Me, 2019, mirror, digital printing on adhasive sheets, stainless steel, plastic, 30x58x2cm.

똥꼬충 Ttongkko-Chung (anus-worm), 2019, anus silicone casting, silicone tube, 3D printed plastic, LED lighting, dimensions variable.

Toilet Paper, 2019, laser cut toilet paper, 12x12x10cm.

The Creation of Adam, 2019, digital printing on fabric, 80x40cm.

Fire Will Keep Your Heart Beating in the Future 2, 2019, stainless steel, rope, Skewer, queer talisman (calligraphy by Taeyeon Kim), dimensions variable.

Photo by Ii Eun


Dew Kim uses various religious motifsㅡfrom shamanism to Christianityㅡto decontextualize the expression ‘Ttongkko-Chung’ The word literally means ‘Anus-Worm’ and is a homophobic expression often used online, mostly to despise male homosexuals. It is similar to the word ‘faggot’ in English. This exhibition is an extension of another ongoing exhibition at Artist Residency TEMI: Fire and Faggot. Through the transformative power of fire and the purifying power of (toilet) water, two separate spaces are now connected.

Dew Kim reproduces the insult ‘Ttongkko-Chung’ by giving it a physical presence, via a purification ritual inspired by many religions. However, the place where Ttongkko-Chungs hold the purification ritual is nowhere else but a bathroom (Latrinxia), and the holy water comes from the toilet. Toilet water is dirty, and is far from what water normally symbolizes: cleanliness. This paradox becoming pure at last only after cleansing yourself with dirty water implies a certain kind of queer action: flipping what is vulgar and what is noble upside down, erasing the border between the two. / written by Junyoung Lee

By the holy ritual of fire performed by the great shaman HornyHoneydew, humankind is now transformed into a new being, known as ‘Ttongkko-Chung,’ and is transported to ‘Latrinxia,’ a new Utopian world. Through the ritual of fire, the shaman levitates one part of the human body up to ‘Hon,’ which is one part of ‘Hon-Baek,’ the two kinds of spirit that are believed to exist inside every human being. As a result, humankind was able to escape the collapsing Earth and move on to another planet.

The planet’s name comes from the Latin word ‘lavatrina,’ which means ‘to take a bath, cleanse, or wash.’ In ancient Rome, a toilet was placed inside public baths, and was essential for personal hygiene and purification. While fire transforms, water purifies. As found in purification rituals from most religions around the world like Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, water readies one’s body to be able to communicate in a spiritual way.

In Latrinxia, Ttongkko-Chungs are no longer beings of two divided sexes, but are sexless and beyond sex, always in their pure and ideal state of being. They use light energy for metamorphosis and breeding. Ttongkko-Chungs are an epiphany of a new humanity, living in a utopian world beyond sexes and sexual divisions. / written by Dew Kim

<the art of relief>  

Denouncing someone who varies from the norm especially harshly when she is a woman, using the expression ‘mental patient’ as a degrading term and emphasizing the fact that an offender has a mental disease, and mocking another’s sexual orientation and identity: these phenomena occupy a common context. That is, the fact that someone has citizenship in a society doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is welcomed in the true sense of the word. The discourse around the conservative backlash that has recently surfaced, and the ever prevalent stigmatizing of minorities suggest a necessity to talk about the old issues again from diverse perspectives. Besides, there are not only significant issues of race, gender, sexuality and disability but also new elements that are not yet embraced by the discourse on identity, but might be interpreted through it.

Based on this idea, the exhibition the art of relief tries to explore rendering one’s identity both visible and positive, and the new possible areas and subjects that can be actively embraced by the identity discourse of this era. Dew Kim, Lithan and Jang Pa cast doubt on the foundations of common beliefs, re-appropriate the language of oppression, and expose the hidden. In their performances, their identities as queer, a mental patient, or a woman do not imply negativity or detachment from a certain social standard. Rather, they appropriate those things which are regarded as deficiencies according to norms, as tools to create the new. Deleuze asserts that a desire is not derived from deficiency, and is positive per se. That is, desiring means sticking out from the plane, not filling the empty hole. Desire grounds construction and production. They reverse the depressed plane and make a relief, the restless desire not driven by the lack of something but by the thing itself.

However, it seems ironic that the apices of each projection cannot escape from the original surface, consider ing that the relief symbolizes positivity. A relief composes a vertical system with high and low levels, but the projecting points have an equal surface when it is seen from the side. All the different beings are like the points that originally shared one surface. In The Art of Loving, Fromm asserts that love is not something that we should try to achieve, but rather an art for a good life, deviating from the perspective that regards love as a final destination. Likewise, the art of relief is not about shaping with an ideal thought or a certain end. We would like to say that it is about desire existing freely and naturally, “getting out of the depths, slipping on the surface and playing on it without any hierarchy.”(a quote by Jang Pa during a conversation about the title ‘the art of relief’) Without exception, we all have an uneven surface, and the world is a work of relief itself. / written by Junyoung Lee