Korean artist Seo Young Deok had his first solo exhibition called “Dystopia” in Seoul. his sculptures are made entirely of upcycled materials – bike chains to be more specific. he used welded metal chains to link the human figures together piece by piece. his work is very much a statement about the way many people live their lives – robot and machine like, just going through the motions. his figures are hollow and purposefully unfinished to express the “incomplete nature of modern day humans.”
his work has very dark undertones, and it comes out through his sculptures. Dystopia is very much a comment on the disconnected and fragmented world we live in – his goal was to highlight the individual struggle we all go through. even the materials he uses (industrial materials and bike chains) point out our reliance on the manufactured world. many of the human figures are broken to represent our detachment from each other, and can represent the detachment from one’s self.
“I sensed the modern day people’s involuntary life in the repetitive movement of a chain and felt the standardization and anonymousness in the chain made of the same pattern. I wanted to add a new vitality and life by adding the second meaning to the original function of a chain while destroying its original functionality as a part of a machine.”
the sculptures are incredible, and so realistic. when i first looked at them, i though of decay and rot. pretty dark subject matter but it is cool to see a different type of upcycled art that addresses these kind of solemn issues.
all images belong to Seo Young Deok