How many of you bikers have ever worn out a chain and had to get a new one. I know I have. And what I now see was my mistake, is that I threw out the old chain. What I should have done was saved them and all those from my friends’ bikes and then all the chains from the neighboring towns. At this point, I could have maybe sold them to the artist Young-Deok Seo, so that he could incorporate them into one of the amazing sculptures he creates.

 The instillation, ‘Dystopia- Bacteria are us’, put on in 2011 in Korea, is a showcase and a glimpse into the mind and drive of Young-Deok Seo. His works speak to the human condition and the experiences, the addiction and infections (s)he must endure. In the artists words,

Among young men and women, it is obvious that men are especially enduring something scary and cruel, or are closing their eyes against the heartlessness and cruelty of the world. Sometimes, they are cruel, horrifying, and dreadful themselves. Some are with their heads chopped off or partly smashed. The head-sculpture of a young man, much bigger than its life-size being placed on the empty ground, suggests something afraid or unknown horror. Was it made so enormously huge as paradoxically to emphasize contemporary young men distorted and daunted?”]

 Each piece is formed not by carving away, as the immense precision seems to suggest, but by adding, by modeling the forms link by link. Many different types of chain are used, from the bike chains mentioned above to large-gauge industrial links that one might find supporting heavy machinery or lifting an engine block into place.

‘They are all covered with chains. They are so called iron men.’

                                          -Young-Deok Seo

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