Hyunsuh Kim, Ruth Brickland

Returning to Foams

Aphrodisiac #6 - Perforating, perfuming, permeating


Returning to Foams Concept Illustration - Hyunsuh Kim

Returning to Foams is one of the aphrodisiac recipes in our "Seafoam" series, in which we attempt to queer the traditional aphrodisiac. We cordially invite you to embark on our odyssey of love— where crew members across species interact with one another in transforming adventures of various forms. Keep a loving eye on our blog as we update experimentation and taste testing of the recipes.



Returning to Foams initially assumes the shape of a perfectly contained sphere, but scatters into innumerable bubbles when thrown into water, fizzy on the skin, and soon remains as nothing but an aromatic fume.

In Buddhism, xunxi (熏習) spells out "perfumation", and is the concept that one's karma is always in flux, always affected by one's activities that defiles or purifies oneself, leaving impressions on the consciousness as the smell of incense smoke stains the clothing ("熏習").The world is a constant permeation between purity and impurity, upon which the permeation of truth by impurity results in saṃsāra, the everyday striving of individuals, and the permeation of impurity by truth results in nirvāna, the eternal oneness of all.



Soaking in the foamy water, letting in and out fluids and odorants through one's pores, one becomes a Little Mermaid, who too, endures transformations in the foams, first in her becoming of human after acquiring egocentric love (eros), and later in her transcending of human after realizing altercentric love (agape). 


This world of dew…

though a world of dew it remains,

still, even so…

- Kobayashi Issa



In addition to the ingredients of a basic bath bomb (sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda; citric acid; cornflour; epsom salt; oil), we feature:

Water from Oosterdok as what once were, and are to-be sea foams. Sea foam forms when waves crash into the shore- what are lands without the waves that mark their beginnings and ends? Sea foams dissolve and new bubbles foam all too soon, and yet those boundaries between land and water, islands and continents, shift slightly but surely every few seconds for every wave that enters. Worlds rise and fall with the tides of the ocean. Each of us, a froth on the water. After this initiation, the participant is invited to bathe in the body Oosterdok itself.

Sacred lotus is the flower of rebirth, purity and union in Buddhism. The plant rises through murky water to a radiant bloom. Its numerous petals, spiraling into a circle, represents the wheel of saṃsāra.

Apple blossom celebrates all explorations as long as they accompany sensitivity and sensuality. With exploration, knowledge and transformation are inevitable.

Apple mint represents virtue. It smell triggers the trigeminal nerves, creating a cool feeling even when used in a hot bath.

Butterfly bush has been called so due to its sweet smell and nectar that attract pollinators. Butterfly is symbolic of the psyche or the soul that rises, and these hermaphrodite flowers, of peace after struggle.



"熏習." Buddhistdoor. https://www.buddhistdoor.net/dictionary/details/%E7%86%8F%E7%BF%92


Discover and relish more of our recipes: