A real troublemaker.
Eloquent and self-contained in an introspective stasis, we meet Doori Jung at a small cafe.
There’s no small talking with her.
Jokes, silly questions and one-dimensional thoughts are turned into reflections of both her and her work, and to be fair, the lines between are blurry and bend along the pipelines of the internet.
Doori Jung, or Durimimi as she goes online, is an independent Korean artist who’s found herself revolving round and round the subject of erotic art ever since she was a teenager.
It’s not just a phase, mom.
It’s in this venue that she found freedom and a theme to dedicate her talents to. While studying abroad in France, she was able to fulfill her fantasies by working on her magazine ZUZN, well, for a short time, at least.
Her project was incubated during the final stages of her formal education, and, after enjoying relatively good success with internauts and collaborators alike, she was suddenly on the radar.
She believed she could travel back to her own country and make a living out of it.
Assuming the structure of a saucy, borderline pornographic magazine, she subverted the expectations of her chosen format and turned the tables. Ignoring the restraints of Korean society, Doori kept on disseminating her publication, of which she was both mastermind and subject.
This was low-key illegal in her homeland, where producing and selling sexually-oriented content is forbidden, and as such, she got silenced.
She fought the law and the law won.
After the shutdown, ZUZN found hope with an official offer from an international publisher. She sold them the rights, bailing when things got out of hand and there was no longer a possibility of overseeing her own magazine.
She fought the publishers and the publishers won.
Losing battles, not wars.
These days, Doori is focusing on side projects, like running her own online adult shop, modeling and making videos to raise money to launch ZUZN 2: Electric Boogaloo.
She’s a multi-layered artist that playfully sticks her hands into music, film and writing; though it’s the magazine that pulls her heartstrings.
And her readers, too.
Offering a liberating gateway to young women that doesn’t involve K-pop idols and fanfiction about them. The possibility of self-knowledge and self-control.
Another window, a window with pink lights and red velvet.
But there’s a price to pay when you set the wild horses free.
Doori finds herself, more often than not, wondering about the real implications of her doings. Does the outcome really justify her intentions? And if so, are her desires and fantasies truly for the greater good of her audience, or is she feeding a cycle of oppression?
An avalanche of love letters and Twitter hate comments.
She’s lucid dreamin’ and usin’ her imagination, and, of course, is misinterpreted across the unholy lands of the internet.
Reflecting herself in shards of different mirrors — social networks — she never lives out the same self of any of them, and simultaneously posts a perfect, fractured collection of her whole persona.
Doesn’t matter how much she exposes her opinions, daydreams and body, Doori remains an enigma.
And somehow, she seems steadily in control of it all.
No matter if she regrets photos and comments, she never goes back. Never deleting anything. Keep the wheel rolling even if we can’t understand where it’s heading.
Internet and diamonds are forever.
You can entertain yourself with Doori’s vlogger antics on Youtube here, gaze at her Instagram collages here, and peruse scans of the late, great ZUZN right here.
Interview and text by León Córdova and Sae Yeoun Hwang
Illustration by León Córdova (@septiembre93)
A real troublemaker.