South Korean Student Satiates His "Hunger Pangs" by Eating $120,000 Banana Artwork
When hunger strikes, a banana will suffice. Well, at least for this South Korean student who couldn't care less if the banana was part of an art installation. Yes, even if the banana was worth $120,000 (£96,000). To Noh Huyn-soo, a duct-taped banana is a delicious snack meant to be eaten.
But apparently, the banana was part of a renowned art installation. The Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan had his work displayed at the Leeum Museum of Art in Seoul. What made the incident more hilarious is Huyn-Soo is an art student. And clearly, hunger is more important to him than art.
When the student was asked why he did that, he answered, 'he ate it because he was hungry,' a museum spokesperson told CNN in a phone call. How simple, right? But not so much because it soon became news for the channels, and Huyn-Soo enjoyed his momentary fame.
The video by KBS News on YouTube showed the art student nonchalantly removing the duct-taped banana on the wall, unpeeling it casually, and devouring it in front of the museum audience. The boy startled the onlookers even more when after gobbling up the whole banana, he re-taped the banana skin to the wall and walked away with a satisfied grin.
Since when is duct taping a banana to a white board art?— Ray (@RayHenry68) May 2, 2023
His friend recorded the video for him. They both are students at Seoul National University. The video clip lasted for over a minute. Korea Herald reached out to him and asked why he did that, to which he replied "hunger pangs" because he skipped breakfast that morning.
When KBS News contacted him, Huyn-soo said that he thought "damaging a work of modern art could also be [interpreted as] artwork" and re-attaching the peel back to the wall was intended to be a "joke." He added: "I thought it would be interesting. Isn't it taped there to be eaten?" Sure, it was just a banana, but with a hiked price tag.
Guess he’s likely trying digest the exhibit meaning. After eating up the whole meaning, digesting the whole interpretation, he thought it needs more appeal.🤔😁— Yul Hsu (@HsuYul) May 2, 2023
The piece of fruit was part of Cattelan's installation and got replaced every two or three days. Its first and second editions were sold for a whooping $120,000 (£96,000). Cattelan, a sculptor and performance artist, was equally unconcerned and responded, "No problem."
The artist's unbothered response explains the banana stuck on the museum wall is replaced after a few days anyway. This clears any claims of misdeed by Huyn-soo as the banana was not 'particularly famous.' Cattelan's work entitled "Comedian" became one of the art world's biggest viral moments when it sold for $120,000 at Art Basel Miami Beach in December 2019.
The artist is famous for provocative artworks challenging popular culture. His one art made hot headlines last September, and it was an 18-carat gold toilet called America worth £1m. However, the art installation was ripped from its display wall during an overnight robbery at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.
Another controversial artwork of Cattelan was displayed opposite the stock exchange in Milan. It was known as Il Dito (the finger) but officially called L.O.V.E and was vandalized by environmental activists in January.