Audience members participated by trading a “national treasure” from their culture or nationality, which they felt they identified with. The Rhee Food Lab system of bartering looked allegedly German: regulated, strict and bureaucratic. Visitors who wished to trade filled out a form, which suggested an immigration or customs document, in which they gave their data for the trade. Upon stamped approval they became happy purchasers of Kimtschi, the most well known Korean food and a true designated national treasure. The Kimtschi itself, which was homemade, was carefully encased in an ostensible real food brand packaging, the Rhee Food Lab brand jar, and looked as though it came off a bona fide shop’s shelf, complete with nutritional facts and list of ingredients. What was traded was photographed, documented, and displayed and became part of the German national collection, regardless of the objects roots. Audience members evaluated the various national treasures which were submitted, which results have created various ostensible scientific findings about people’s backgrounds and perspectives. Further quasi-scientific investigations will be developed in further versions. Dr. Rhee’s Kimtschi Shop strived to endorse a complex understanding of transnational identity through the intersection of science, art, and food.
Downloadable List of Treasures RFL_ListofTreasures