18 karat gold toilet

Ladies and gentleman, let me present to you the Holy Grail of toilets! ūüŹÜūüöĹ

“America” by Maurizio Cattelan

Entitled ‘America’ (2016), it’s a fully functional & usable 18 karat gold throne by artist Maurizio Cattelan on display at New York’s Guggenheim museum. This incredible piece had been #1 on my toilet bucket list since I first hear about it around a year ago – finally on a weekend trip to the Big Apple I had my chance.

According to the blurb in the museum guidebook: “This work makes available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1 percent. Its participatory nature, in which viewers are invited to make use of the fixture individually and privately, allows for an experience of unprecedented intimacy with a work of art.”

It doesn’t get much better than this. If you happen to be in NYC it’s absolutely worth a visit!¬†ūüėĀ


Female Urinal

I was walking along 5th Avenue in NYC and chanced to pass the Museum Of Sex, where they have this fascinating example of a female urinal on display.

“The female urinal elaborates on the traditional structure of a male urinal, adding an extended tray to more accurately accommodate the female form”

Female Urinal 1

Female Urinal 2

Female Urinal 3


Mr. Toilet House

Earlier this year I had a couple of days stopover in Seoul, South Korea, en route back to Canada from Australia.

I’d heard through various sources on the web that there existed a unique museum dedicated entirely to the loo in the southern province¬†of Gyeonggi-do, known as Mr. Toilet House (local name:¬†Haewoojae). It goes without saying that I needed to see this place for myself.

During the 1990’s, the then-mayor of Suwon City, Mr Sim Jae-duck, was well known for promoting and beautifying¬†South Korean public toilet culture. His passion for the potty was so rich that in 2007, he completely¬†redesigned¬†his house of 30 years into the shape of a toilet seat. Upon Mr. Sim’s¬†death in 2009, the house was donated to Suwon City, who converted the building to¬†a Toilet Culture Museum the following year¬†in his honour.

The museum takes up two floors Рthe first floor is a permanent exhibition featuring interactive displays, documents and toilet-related materials that offer an insight into the toilet culture movement around the world; the second floor is a temporary exhibition hall which also houses a number of photos and artefacts dedicated to the life & times of Mr. Sim. A Toilet Culture Park surrounding the museum was opened in 2012 and consists of scores of artworks & historical toilet displays from across the ages Рnot to mention dozens of hilarious photo opportunities for well-humoured tourists!

After quite some time¬†on the train from Seoul it took me a further¬†40 minutes¬†to walk to Mr. Toilet House from Sungkyunkwan Station. I spent a few hours wandering around the museum &¬†surrounding parklands and was quite fascinated¬†with¬†the many toilet-related exhibitions, sculptures and paraphernalia within its¬†grounds. Highlights included a giant golden poo by the museum’s entrance, the toilet located¬†in¬†the centre of the building with a transparent glass window that becomes opaque at the flick of a switch, and the many toilets around the parklands that have been converted into colourful¬†mini flower gardens.

I’d definitely recommend¬†Mr. Toilet House to¬†any visitor to Seoul who¬†has an interest in unique/eccentric tourist attractions. It’s a little out of the way to travel to on public transport, so set aside¬†half a day if you decide to make the trip. In the meantime, you can check out some of the photos¬†from my visit below!

Mr. Toilet House (Haewoojae)
Website: http://haewoojae.com
Phone: +82-31-271-9777
Address: Jangan-ro 458-9, Jangan-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 440-310, South Korea
Opening hours: March-October 10:00 – 18:00, November-February 10:00 – 17:00. (closed on Mondays, Jan 1st, Lunar New Year’s Day and Korean Thanksgiving holidays)
Admission: Free!

 

Mr. Toilet House-1

A statue of Mr. Sim Jae-duck graces the entrance to the Mr. Toilet House museum

 

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A set of toilet flower gardens in front of the museum

 

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Some humorous artwork on the wall surrounding the park

 

Mr. Toilet House-4

A toilet cross-section all decked out with a bunch of flowers

 

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One of the four toilet flower gardens at the front of the museum

 

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A young bronze fellow in a rather curious looking pose… more of these coming later

 

Mr. Toilet House-7

This is the toilet in the centre of the building with a transparent window, where you can “meditate or¬†appreciate the garden from inside”. All it takes is the flick of a switch ……

 

Mr. Toilet House-8

…… and there’s your privacy!

 

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A brightly coloured urinal surrounded by white scrawlings in the paint

 

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Same thing but with a toilet

 

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Dr. Shit wrote a message for Mr. Sim

 

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There’s nothing like some children’s poo-themed artwork to brighten up the corridors

 

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Some more bathroom art from the hands of the little ones

 

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The giant golden poo at the front of the museum

 

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Some kids having a great time playing on the giant golden poo

 

Mr. Toilet House-16

The (useable) kids toilet in the front grounds of the Toilet Culture Park. Just wait til you see inside.

 

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How about this for a kids toilet!

 

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An interesting sculpture, to say the least

 

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“This urinal looks like an animal with its mouth open, showing humorous creativity” – apparently these were common from 18 BC to 660 AD

 

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This is the “Night Soil Pail Shaped Door” – basically, an enclosed space where you can take a selfie standing in front of a poo-stained wall

 

Mr. Toilet House-21

Another bronze gentleman in an awkward pose

 

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I loved this little toilet garden!

 

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This is an example of a Tumak Toilet, a shack-style restroom found on Ulleungdo Island

 

Mr. Toilet House-24

A modern European urinal known as Duchamp’s Fountain

 

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Depicting a scene from rural Korea

 

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I’m not too sure what was going on here

 

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Many more bronze statues in various uncomfortable poses

 

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Even the flora descriptors were shaped like a poo

 

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Contemplating life

 

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Another toilet garden

 

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One final look at the front grounds of Mr. Toilet House before heading back to Seoul

 

Have you ever been to Mr. Toilet House? Would you ever visit? Leave a message below if so!

 

BONUS PHOTO: this one is a little NSFW so you need¬†to click through¬†to page 2 if you want to see it ūüôā

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