Artist Gives Old Bicycle Chains New Life By Using Them In Imaginative Human Sculptures

Mymodernmet_ One cannot overstate the amount of work that goes into creating one of Young-Deok Seo's sculptures. Aside from their massive appearance and the artist's painstaking attention to detail, a third component of Seo's work makes it especially impressive and sets it apart from his contemporaries. On closer inspection, one realizes that every inch of his sculptures is made of bicycle chains, with each link interconnected to create human forms.

The chains in his work aren't just physical. According to Seo's website, his sculptures and the medium he uses to build them are inspired by the human condition and the struggles that often come with it. Seo states, “The chains in my work are fetters. The fetters are all about our contemporaries’ complicated, forced relationships and cravings for materials. I want to show, through my works, the portraits of our time where personal thoughts and lives are ignored.”

Many of Seo's sculptures are forlorn in nature, with their eyes almost always closed. He often depicts his full-body sculptures in vulnerable positions, hugging their knees to their chest or holding their arms in a self-soothing gesture. His large-scale face sculptures are similarly somber, resembling face masks that ancient thespians might have used in play productions – perhaps a further commentary on the masks we put on every day.