While resting his weary hands, Choi started to thoroughly examine his own body that made the diligent work possible. His arm and hand muscles became attuned to external factors as they operated restlessly. Finally, his body could no longer keep up with even the most mundane activities, and by this time, his forearms had begun to send acute signs of surrender. At this point, Choi no longer needed to convey anything through art. He began to reflect on each of his long-lasting habits. He reverted his attention to art school anatomy books, the canon of all sculptors, and started locating and recreating misrepresented muscles one by one. He slightly twisted and separated the seemingly accurate muscle structures in his recreation, adding gaps between each of them. Note that, to distort something, one must be fully aware of the original form. [...]
Making a breakthrough in the familiar methodology of sculpture, while avoiding rendering the artwork a mere trajectory of past emotions and stories, is by no means easy to do. In each of the new pieces, Choi focuses on the materials, the colors and forms created from combining those materials, and the action of creating itself. In a way, he was able to reach this point by stubbornly sticking to the routine of simple and repetitive actions. Instead of trying to find meaning and instilling emotions into the artwork, Choi experimented with how each component of the work can exist autonomously as what they are. In other words, he was determined to challenge his habit of endlessly finding or imbuing meaning in his work. The truth is, Choi did not deviate much from his original sculptural process and attitude. However, by changing his perspective and adjusting his distance, he was able to let go of some of the emotional weight that he insisted on conveying and projecting in his past works. After a long journey as a sculptor, Choi might be facing a time of uncertainty, not knowing exactly how to proceed. Nevertheless, he is unwilling to shy away from showing his long, arduous process. From the traces that the artist leaves, I feel that I can imagine the shapes of his sculptures to come.
Excerpt from “Shapes Made From an Attitude” ￜ Maeng Jee Young (Independent Curator, Co-director of WESS)