Choe U-Ram

MMCA
2022 - 2023
MMCA Hyundai Motor Series
Custos Cavum, metallic material, resin, motor, gear, custom CPU board, LED 220(h) x 360(w) x 260(d)cm. 2011

Custos Cavum, metallic material, resin, motor, gear, custom CPU board, LED 220(h) x 360(w) x 260(d)cm. 2011

Image provided by MMCA

About the Exhibition

For the ninth edition of the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Seoul-based artist Choe U-Ram will present a solo exhibition of...

For the ninth edition of the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Seoul-based artist Choe U-Ram will present a solo exhibition of new works that continue his explorations into the relationship between humanity and technology. From September 2022 to February 2023, MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2022: Choe U-Ram will bring MMCA Seoul to life with a new installation including Choe’s newest large-scale work Paper Boat (working title).

Choe has long been driven by an interest in the ways technology can make people more human. For his MMCA Hyundai Motor Series presentation, he takes as his starting point two of the most important issues in contemporary life: the climate crisis and the ongoing pandemic. Growing up, Choe was surrounded by both art and engineering. His parents were both artists, and his grandfather was an engineer who designed the first automobile in Korea. But it wasn’t until taking a class in kinetic sculpture while at Chungang University that Choe realized the ways these two fields could work together. Choe then began visiting the massive Cheonggyecheon market, where the shop owners would help him figure out the mechanical requirements of his artistic visions. It was through these conversations that Choe taught himself the engineering that is now fundamental to his meticulously constructed works.

Choe’s lifelike sculptures—“anima-machines”—are both highly sophisticated technological achievements as well as deeply thoughtful meditations on human existence and our place in the universe. The hope, for Choe, is that the movement of his pieces will help viewers see and understand the larger philosophical questions that drive his thinking and practice. One of the ways Choe presents these ideas is through designing each work to tell a unique story about the ways in which human desires are projected onto technology.

A lifelong resident of Seoul, Choe has shown extensively within Korea as well as internationally. Following his first solo exhibition in 1998, Choe became the first Korean artist to have a solo exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo in 2006. The MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2022: Choe U-Ram marks Choe’s first solo exhibition at the MMCA.

Launched in 2014 in partnership with the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series aims to expand the boundaries of Korean contemporary art and provide a platform that connects leading Korean artists with a wider global audience. Every year, the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series supports an esteemed Korean artist or group with a solo exhibition at the MMCA. Choe is the ninth artist selected for the 10-year project, following Lee Bul (2014), Ahn Kyuchul (2015), Kimsooja (2016), IM Heung- soon (2017), CHOIJEONGHWA (2018), Park Chan-kyong (2019), Haegue Yang (2020), and MOON Kyungwon and JEON Joonho (2021).

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