I'M ASHAMED TO HAVE GRADUATED HERE
400 x 300 cm
The project "I'M ASHAMED TO HAVE GRADUATED HERE" serves as my Diplom-Arbeit, a culmination of my academic work, which stands as a protest against the discriminatory tuition fee policy in Baden-Wuerttemberg. A prominent outdoor billboard was erected for one month at a public location adjacent to the Rathaus U-Bahn station in Stuttgart.
Baden-Württemberg has been imposing tuition fees on students from non-EU countries since 2017, making it the sole state in Germany to do so. These fees amount to 1,500 euros per semester.
My journey commenced here, at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart, precisely in 2017, coinciding with the introduction of this policy. My inaugural exhibition at the institution took the form of a protest against this very system. In 2017, when this law was enacted, I paid 1,500 euros for my first semester's tuition. Through the project "100 sales = €1,500 tuition(2017)," I voiced my dissent by selling t-shirts and tote bags adorned with my artwork for 15 euros each. One hundred individuals who shared my opposition to this law and supported my pursuit of artistic education made these purchases.
Two months later, I received a letter exempting me from all tuition fees. This was because I had previously been enrolled as an exchange student, and the status of being an exempt student was complex. I was thus relieved of tuition fees for a duration of five years.
Five years have elapsed, and this policy remains in place, persistently silent and unyielding.
Silence paves the way for discrimination. I hold a deep affection for the spirit of academia, which is why I raise my voice in shame and sorrow, highlighting the ongoing unequal treatment of non-EU students in this institution.
"100 sales = €1,500 tuition" was my inaugural project at this institution that opened doors, and now, with "I'M ASHAMED TO HAVE GRADUATED HERE," it marks a closure—an expression of my feelings and a poignant commentary on the state of affairs.
Aimy, the primary avatar within my artistic realm, symbolized my era of artistic study in Germany and drew inspiration from the format of online meme culture.
100 Sales=1500 Euro Tuition Fee
performance, printed t-shirts, printed shoulder bags, two pages of DIN A4 papers with signatures
Model / Vita Mikju, Dongju Lee, Hwayoung Park
Starting from the winter semester of 2017, all universities in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, initiated the collection of tuition fees amounting to 1,500 euros per semester from "international students from non-EU countries."
TZUSOO vehemently opposes this arbitrary action. It symbolizes a visual demonstration of the commodification of art and a return to studying art under these conditions. The imagery in my artwork "Deep Kiss World" (2016, 17) is once again being prostituted*.
1. The practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment.
2. The unworthy or corrupt use of one's talents for personal or financial gain.
The buyers of the art works are called "Sponsors". The sponsors support a extension of art studies of TZUSOO(2017/18 Winter semester) and the elimination of the bill by paying money.