Earlier this year(2019), Donghwan Kam built a shared kitchen in Hall West of the Rijksakademie. Sensing an ambiguous social tension among the residents, Kam wanted to see if and how the concept of “us” would manifest itself in a shared space. With the Rijksakademie’s permission, he built the communal kitchen, for which Kam took full responsibility in terms of cleanliness.
After returning from summer vacation, Kam found the kitchen’s sink clogged with rotten food, and in a pot next to the sink he found dazzling white mold covering rotting rice. Kam took a picture of this beautiful image. On an impulse, he printed the picture on very thin paper and stuck it to the wall using wheat paste he cooked in the kitchen. Once on the wall, the picture began to feel uncomfortable and shameful, so he scraped it away with a knife. But the act of destroying the image gave Kam a strange satisfaction.
Since that day, he has repeated the process of printing images and destroying their surfaces. Each destroyed image has another layered on top of it. Through this process the images transform into wounds and scars. And later it became the body of the work ‘Defaced Images’.
Every night he goes back to the kitchen and cleans.
Written by Ian Page from Kam’s notes
Kitchen designed by Daegun Go