New Urban Species
February 19–May 16, 2010
Korean artist U-Ram Choe’s kinetic sculptures are made of delicately curved sections of wrought metal, joined together in movable parts that are driven by motors to expand, contract, or otherwise suggest the autonomic motions of such primitive life forms as plants and single-celled aquatic creatures. The intricate workmanship and graceful movements of these mechanical sculptures offer viewers an unparalleled visual delight. At the same time, they have profound philosophical implications, inviting consideration of the subject of life’s origins, evolution, and future. Evoking new developments in genetic engineering, prosthetic technologies, and robotics, these graceful and disturbing works propose the existence of species that, while constructed of inorganic materials and powered by light and electricity, mimic the behavior and appetites of living beings.
Appropriately alluding to the methodologies of biologists or botanists from the Age of Discovery, Choe uses a Latin nomenclature in titling his creatures, and provides detailed pseudo-scientific descriptions of their habitats and behaviors. This allusion to a system of taxonomy that reached its height in the nineteenth century aligns with the works’ evocations of early science fiction—Jules Verne’s fishlike Nautilus submarine, for example. The charm of yesterday’s seemingly organic automata gives way to a chill accompanying the uncanny recognition that today, botanical or animal hybrids are under development by scientists who are less concerned with the unintended consequences of manipulating nature than with expanding the boundaries of life.
About the artist:
Born in 1970, U-Ram Choe lives in Seoul, Korea. He has had solo exhibitions at The Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan, and bitforms gallery in New York. His work also has been exhibited at the Shanghai Biennale, Seoul Museum of Art, Samsung Museum, Sungkok Art Museum, Busan's Metropolitan Art Museum, Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Bologna, Seoul Olympic Art Museum, and Seoul Forest Open Air Sculpture Symposium. Choe’s works are in the Crow Collection, Sungkok Art Museum, and the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna, and the Manchester Art Gallery.
Copied from the Frist Center for Visual Arts!! And from MB Shaw at The Common Denominator . Check her out. Great blog!!!
Amazing work..almost Steampunk like!! Enjoy!