- Name: 顧廣毅
- Born: 1985
- Birthplace: Taipei
- Did You Know That …?
- After practicing dentistry at Taipei Veterans General Hospital and private clinics for six years, Kuang-Yi Ku encountered the field of bio-art and realized his passion for social design.
- Site: www.kukuangyi.com
Born and raised in Taipei, Kuang-Yi Ku is a dentist, bio-artist, and social designer. He holds three master's degrees, respectively in dentistry from National Yang-Ming University, in communication design from Shih Chien University, and in social design at Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Ku's "The Fellatio Modification Project" and "Tiger Penis Project" have received multiple international awards.
In 2012, Ku founded TW BioArt
— a Taiwanese bio-art community — as a platform for interactions between biology and art. The community promotes conversations between bio-artists in Taiwan and other places in Asia and around the world. Locally, members organize workshops, roundtables, book clubs, international Skype meetings, talks, and social outings for scientists and artists.
Bio-art is an art movement combining art, design, and emerging biotechnologies with live tissues, bacteria, and living organisms. In this hybrid practice of bio-art and applied design, Ku creates speculative and provocative works to question how bodies can be reinterpreted within environments that are being dramatically altered by new technologies.
Ku finds synergy among his three degrees of dentistry, communication design, and social design, seeing it as an intersection of the human body and sexuality, interspecies interaction, and medical technology. Ku has given talks and workshops on his transdisciplinary practice internationally, as well as having his projects widely exhibited in both scientific and art contexts.
Ku was brought into the spotlight when he won first prize in the 2015 Taipei Digital Art Awards for his "Fellatio Modification Project," gaining attention for his merger of body modification, gender studies, queer theories, and dentistry.
In 2018, during his residency at Waag in Amsterdam, Ku worked on a project attempting to explore new methods of understanding the human body abandoned by "objective" western science. "Tarot of Pulse" created a pseudoscientific fortune-telling system by combining the concepts of sphygmomanometer from western medicine, pulse visualization from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and Tarot fortunetelling.
Ku's "Tiger Penis Project" was awarded the 2018 Gijs Bakker Award, the annual prize for the best project by a graduating master's student in Design Academy Eindhoven. "Tiger Penis Project" advocates the use of synthetic biology to prevent the further destruction and consummation of wildlife by traditional Chinese medicinal practices. The jury described Ku's work as "incredibly rich and layered."
In 2019, Ku and Hong Kong food designer Adelaide Lala Tam collaborated on an eco-driven project called "New Ultimate Imperial Feast," which aims to reevaluate traditional Chinese cuisine heritage and protect endangered species. By using synthetic biology, tissue culture, and 3D bio-printing to re-design a series of traditional dishes, Ku and Tam served up super hybrid shark fin, Neanderthal brain, moon ginseng soup, cow's brain and bone marrow, pig milk cheese platter, and roasted rooster.