+ -
red star r

Ru Kim - Tax Returns 분청사기상감인화문붕명둔접

Ru Kim
Tax Returns 분청사기상감인화문붕명둔접

A statement by the artist

Tax Returns 분청사기상감인화문붕명둔접 traces two parallel historical fragments of the Joseon Dynasty. In the 15th century, an innovative method of tax payment invented by King Sejong requested local artisans to pay their taxes in the form of dishware addressed to the royal palace in the form of “In-Kind Tribute Taxes”. To prevent theft, they were marked with the specific government branches they were to be used in.

Around the same time, it is documented that homosexual court ladies would tattoo each others’ buttocks with the letter 朋. In the Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty, it is also documented that King Sejong would order harsh punishments unto these same lesbian lovers. The video goes on to retrace the etymology of the letter 朋 which has now come to signify “friend”.

This work was produced in the ceramic residency of the Clayarch Gimhae Museum, a public institution, with materials that were provided to the artists. The video was presented in installation with dishes in ceramic molded from the form of the artists’ buttocks and inscribed with the letter 朋, and presented to the visitors to take if they so desired. This was a performative gesture of returning to the local citizens their tax money in material form.

Ru Kim

Ru Kim (b. 1995, Hamburg) is an artist leading a research-based studio practice that questions the use of art in resisting normalized and embodied sexist and racist violence generated by patriarchal, imperial and colonial ideologies of domination. Employing various media such as video, photography, sound, performance, installation and text, they seek to develop forms that challenge binaries and fixed identities. Moving through different languages and nourished by hydro-, Black, queer feminist theories, Ru Kim’s work leads a deconstructivist analysis of oppressive, racist and colonial representations.

Privacy Notice