Best-known for his meticulously designed kinetic sculptures made of acrylic and stainless steel, Korean artist U-Ram Choe animates his sculptures with robotics that he develops and programs. For his first solo exhibition in New York, Choe has created Custos Cavum inspired by a tenth-century Indian sculpture, Shiva Nataraja, which is part of Asia Society’s Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of traditional Asian art.
This late tenth-century sculpture in turn gave birth to Choe’s own mythological tale of the guardians of two imaginary worlds. He calls them Custos Cavum, or “guardian of the hole” in Latin. This creature protects the flow of communication between the two realms that assures mutual respect. In this fable, the guardian is a symbol of coexistence just as the Hindu god, Shiva, is a symbol of balance and harmony.
The exhibition is part of an ongoing “In Focus” series in which contemporary artists create new works inspired by Asia Society’s permanent collection. Choe’s new work will be shown with the Shiva sculpture that is its inspiration.
On view at Asia Society Museum, September 9 – December 31, 2011
via U-Ram Choe
Shiva as Lord of the Dance (Shiva Nataraja) | Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection