Pop-in Expo
Varying presentations in the foyer

This pop-in expo shows the outcome of research by Sejoon Kim that looks at the proliferation of cute culture in East Asia. Graphic design by Suji Lee.


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


Free entrance

In his research CUTE, Sejoon Kim looks at the proliferation of cute culture in East Asian countries and peels back its thin skin. For Kim, the root of cuteness does not lie in the so-called protective instinct, but in a social and cultural construct. Framed by a rigid hierarchy, its sociocultural context reveals a hidden desire for dominance and control. In his general works, he merges the light-hearted side of this cultural phenomenon with its darker side. The ambivalent aesthetics of the pieces allow people to feel an uncomfortable pleasure. Graphic design by Suji Lee.

Anthropomorphism / Thingification

These collaborative works by SEWAJI are one of the representations based on the research CUTE that touched upon many hidden aspects of the striving for, and expression of cuteness. With their own artistic perspective on ‘cute’, the design duo presents communicative objects and statues that imitate each other’s cuteness. For them, imitating is one of the critical strategies that demonstrate the expressive quality of the ‘cute’ world. In this project, SEWAJI plays with two kinds of cuteness: natural cuteness in living creatures and engineered cuteness in inanimate objects.


SEWAJI is a duo currently based in Eindhoven, consisting of Sejoon Kim and Hyunjee Jung. Kim gained his Master’s degree in Contextual Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven and Jung obtained hers in Luxury and Craftsmanship from ECAL.

Pop-in Expo

Bi-weekly presentations in the foyer, spotlighting a controversial new design, sensational research, work by an emerging talent or a new acquisition for the State Archive for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning.