Salone del Mobile, Milan 2018—04
Walnut, Bronze (2 × 2 × 4.5″) 


A tool for grinding a single peppercorn, Pepper Crusher exaggerates labor intensive and time-consuming food preparation processes that are ritualized as forms of cultural production.

Inspired by an absurd claim made by Kim Jong Un—that every grain of rice served to him was inspected by his house staff as an expression of loyalty—Pepper Crusher highlights how we take abundance for granted. The objects’ forms reference the Punggye-ri mountain ranges, which via satellite images appear tranquil but are rumored to house North Korea’s nuclear development site. Peppercorns contained within the hand sculpted, cast bronze crusher are dispensed one-by-one, expressing the juxtaposition of serenity and secrecy.

Highlighting the paradox of the rice inspection–excess is required to feed the “Dear Leader” while citizens go hungry–Pepper Crusher ritualizes the mundane exercise of adding peppercorns all the while encouraging recognition of the cultural and perceptual borders between us.

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2018 by Yejin Kim.