Toilet Culture Park teaches the importance of our most paramount plumbing
As a nerdy parent, I’m often pretty excited about taking my kids to a new museum. Places with big dinosaur skeletons, or colorful aquariums are understandably easier for them to engage with than collections of 19th Century American landscapes, but a museum in South Korea may turn out to have the most relatable collection of artifacts in the world. The city of Suwon is home to the Toilet Culture Park, which, comedic value aside, is intended to attract attention to the important role modern toilets play in human health around the world.
Lifelong love of lavatories
The park is thanks to the hygiene interests of a one Sim Jae-duck, who was once mayor of Suwon, as well as the owner of a successful manufacturing business. Sim’s concern with toilets supposedly started at birth, as he was said to have been born in his impoverished grandmother’s outhouse. In his lifetime, Sim saw the rise of modern toilets and the health benefits that accompany them, which motivated his interest in promoting the importance of modern commodes in Korea and elsewhere. In 2002, Sim took on the unglamorous, but important, job of providing bathrooms for World Cup fans flocking to the games in South Korea.
The current park features a cross-section of toilets from around the world, and goes into the history of these crucial devices. There’s also a fair amount of more sculptural pieces, ranging from Rodin’s “The Thinker” seated on stone toilet to bronze statues depicting people in the middle of using a squat toilet.
The Toilet Culture Park is not alone in its mission of toilet-awareness, as Japan is also home to a toilet museum. In that case, there’s a bit more self-promotion, as TOTO, a toilet manufacturer, has created a collection that includes some toilet history, but with a focus on the plumbing innovations that this “Apple of toilet tech” has developed in its nearly 100-year-old history, starting with “sanitary ceramics.”
Source: World's first toilet theme park opens in South Korea, The Telegraph