At the intersection of nature and technology, one wonders what new forms a synergistic combination of the two worlds might take on. Based in Seoul, Korean artist U-Ram Choe creates intricate kinetic sculptures that are inspired by natural forms and movements. Choe combines different metals, gears, motors and CPU boards to make what he conceives as living, newfound organisms. Check out these videos of his stunning work.
This Creator's Project film gives a great behind-the-scenes view into Choe's working process:
With Latin names like "Una Lumino," “Unicus – cavum ad initium” and “Arbor Deus Pennatus” -- recalling traditional phylogenetic nomenclature -- Choe's works are meticulously crafted and put together, featuring gorgeous filagree work and an almost cinematic display of dynamic animation.
Here it seems too, that Choe assigns a kind of fantastical mythology to his works, describing "Custos Cavum" as such:
Once upon a time, there were two worlds. They were connected to each other through a number of small holes, as if the worlds were breathing through these holes. However, the holes had a tendency to close up, so there were guardians next to each one to keep them open. The guardians were called "Custos Cavum." They took the form of seals and had large front teeth, which they used to gnaw the holes to prevent them from closing up.
Whenever a Custos Cavum felt the generation of a new hole somewhere, it fell into a deep sleep. From the body of the quietly sleeping Custos Cavum grew winged spores called "Unicuses." These spores took flight and each flew to a new hole, where it gave rise to a new Custos Cavum.
Some of his pieces, like "Una Lumino," features programmed, synchronized lighting that brings the sculpture to life through a simple algorithm that produces random light sequences.
Choe's practice has grown from a one-man show into a team for making his larger pieces, combining his artistic vision with the technical know-how of a few other collaborators. Interestingly, his creations are so elaborate that he has to provide galleries and collectors with a manual for maintenance. Choe also recycles reusable parts from his sculptures, repurposing components into new works. This is truly inspiring and labour-intensive art-making intended to inspire wonder. For more videos of his work, head over to his Vimeo page, or check his website.