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Taking a bathroom break in the DDP

Sept 23,2017
The Seoul Design Foundation has organized an exhibition dedicated to the 100 year anniversary of French artist Marcel Duchamp’s famous “Fountain.” The exhibition at Dongdaemun Design Plaza is titled “Discover the Seoul 2017.” [SEOUL DESIGN FOUNDATION]
It has been 100 years since French artist Marcel Duchamp put his famous “Fountain” on display at the Society of Independent Artists, New York, in 1917. To celebrate the artist’s genius mind that changed the face of modern art and our perspective toward the toilet bowl, the Seoul Design Foundation has organized a craft design fair at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza to go along with Seoul Design Week, “Discover the Seoul 2017,” on the theme of the toilet and the bathroom.

The craft fair will be held for the third time during Seoul Design Week to help grow craft culture within the domestic market, this time until Wednesday. This year’s exhibition provides a fun look at how the elements we use everyday in our bathrooms can become beautiful artworks made by craftsmen. More specifically, paying homage to the 100 years of modern art after Duchamp changed the meaning of a toilet, the exhibition features how various artists and designers have reinterpreted the idea of a toilet and the bathroom in the modern sense.

Divided into five main sections, the fair takes five different perspectives towards the toilet: the history of the bathroom, an artistic reinterpretation of the bathroom, public etiquette for using the bathroom, an environmental approach to designing bathrooms and different interior designs for bathrooms according to the different age groups.

Aside from the exhibitions, also available are some 80 booths that sell actual bathroom props for the visitors, such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, towels and toilet rolls. Visitors may also take pictures next to an installation work by artist Baek In-kyo.

This year’s curator Yeon Je-seung, widely known as Jason Yeon, has appeared on numerous TV shows and wrote his own books on designing and decorating his own room with a low budget. By casting Yeon as the curator, the fair seeks to communicate with the visitors not only on the artistic level, but also on realistic terms as well.

“We prepared for this exhibition in celebration of the 100th year of ‘Fountain,’ which was a sensational turning point in the history of modern art,” said the curator. “By showing the toilet in diverse perspectives, we wanted to show that what used to be perceived as only a tool for excrement could become an interior design prop, as well as a meaningful work of art.”

Visitors can take part in the fair online through Instagram. Winners will be chosen from those who post pictures of the exhibition. They will receive mini versions of the artistic toilet on display.

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]



Dongdaemun Design Plaza is at Dongdaemun Culture and History Park station, lines No. 2, 3 and 5, exit 1. For more information, visit www.seouldesignweek.or.kr.




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