A wild kingdom that isn’t tired

Korean artist Yong Ho Ji makes sculptures with layers of used tire strips bound together by synthetic resins on supporting frames of steel, wood, or styrofoam. This certainly isn’t the first time that we’ve looked at a trending artist who’s work melds animals with modern technology. Ji’s work references eight stages of transformation: carnivorous, herbivorous and omnivorous animals, arthropods, fish, hybrid animals, hybrid humans, and finally humans. It’s interesting that the way he uses the tires suggests organic elements entirely separate from the animals depicted. The tires look feathery, or flowing the way that a fish’s tail fin would. On one hand they appear to be animal, but the machine quality of the tires makes us think of alien worlds and robots. His own artist statement reminds us that one key to their meaning is “recycled” – the tires come from man’s world, but he has a responsiblity to the animals in it.

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