U-Ram Choe's Merry-Go-Round Is One Part Nostalgia, Two Parts Brave New World
In one of Creator U-Ram Choe’s most recent installations, Merry-Go-Round, the piece initially seems to be a beautifully-crafted, aesthetically-pleasing novelty, a miniature replica of a carousel that evokes nostalgia for the “good ol’ days” of cotton candy, arcade tickets, and Ferris wheels.
U-Ram Choe’s Merry-Go-Round
However, as the piece continues to spin, the speed builds, creating a dizzying, overwhelming whirl that seems to be more dystopian than evocative of childhood memories. Perhaps this is meant to represent the difficulties that arise even within the seemingly simple, superficial, and beautiful lives of the privileged (#firstworldproblems).
Typically Choe’s works have a more organic feel than Merry-Go-Round (despite the fact that his sculptures are mostly mechanical), and thus it stands apart within his body of work. As Choe said in an November Interview with Korean Times, “I was more interested in nature, ecosystems, the universe, and the role of technology. Merry-Go-Round is my way of interpreting human life and its endless cycle.”
Sketches for U-Ram Choe’s Merry-Go-Round.
Some of Choe’s other recent work will be on display in an upcoming solo show, “Anima: Choe U-Ram,” at Borusan Contemporary in Istanbul, Turkey from February 2nd—April 14th, including his piece Pavilion, which features a black plastic bag inside a 24K gold casing (American Beauty flashbacks, anyone?).
To learn more about U-Ram Choe’s kinetic sculptures, check out our behind-the-scenes video below.