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Parting Shot: Iron Man Made of Blood and Urine Wins Art Prize, Smells Terrible

A Taiwanese graduate student has won an art award for creating an Iron Man face in a toilet bowl out of his own blood and urine, and yes, it is totally gross, but also kind of fascinating. This wasn’t just an idle way for Wong Tin Cheung to spend his afternoon, either: creating “Blood Urine Man” out of his own bodily waste involved not only months of searching to find proper toilet bowl, but also experimentally ingesting various colors of food dye to produce the right shades of urine, not to mention beating 600 other submissions to the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts for the top prize of roughly $13,500.There’s a long interview with the student (in Chinese) where we also see what appear to be bodily fluid-based versions of Spider-Man and Batman in subsequent toilet bowls. The winning Iron Man entry was displayed at an art competition where it unsurprisingly produced a a terrible odor, or as the Google translation of a Chinese Times article unfortunately describes it, “a strange thick flavor.”

Although I cannot personally translate the contents of the video, the website Micgadget provided further disgusting but strangely intriguing details:

The graduate student is a fan of Marvel superhero and has a collection of Iron Man products. He said he tried to make his work realistic as possible, otherwise using urine would have been ridiculous. He took about two months to find a toilet bowl with a similar oblong shape to the outline of Iron Man’s face. Then he was eating edible pigmentation and successfully produced red, black and green urine. He arranged the colored urine to make it look like the character, and used his saliva to create foam for touching up. He needed to keep adding spit to his work while waiting for the judges to get to him during the contest. And of course, his artwork had produced a foul odor at the exhibition.

One point of contention: “otherwise using urine would have been ridiculous”? Come on now. While Cheung’s conscientious approach to creating realistic superhero pee faces may be laudable within its own context — look at those tiny eye slits composed of a white substance I definitely don’t want any more information about! — attention to detail doesn’t automatically elevate something beyond the ridiculous. After all, if there’s anything that the extreme end of fandom has taught us, it’s that obsessive focus on accurately simulating the characters and properties you love can absolutely go hand in hand with taking things way, way, way too far.

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