U-Ram Choe, ‘Custos Cavum (Guardian of the Hole)’, 2011, bitforms gallery

Once upon a time, there were two worlds. They were connected to each other through a number of small holes that allowed communication to flow between inhabitants of each realm, as if the worlds were breathing through these holes. However, they had a tendency to close up, so guardians stood next to each one to keep them open. The guardians were called “Custos Cavum.” They took the form of seals and had large front teeth, which they used to gnaw the holes to prevent them from closing up.

Whenever a Custos Cavum felt the generation of a new hole somewhere nearby, it fell into a deep sleep. From the body of the quietly sleeping Custos Cavum grew winged spores called “Unicuses.” These spores took flight and each flew to a new, unprotected hole, where it gave rise to a new Custos Cavum.

As time went on, the people of the two worlds communicated less often, and they began to forget about their peers living across the divide. Their guardians lost their power and died one after another. The holes were allowed to close. When the last Custos Cavum died, the last hole closed, separating the two worlds completely. The existence of the other world was entirely erased from peopleʼs memories.

About U-Ram Choe

Inspired by the grandeur of the physical realm, from celestial bodies to earthly organisms, U-ram Choe’s complex kinetic sculptures combine delicate, otherworldly beauty with machines, motors, and steel. Choe’s shiny biomorphic forms flutter, glow, and breathe inside their metallic bodies, appearing both familiar and entirely alien. His 2010 exhibition entitled “Kalpa” featured the artist’s realization of an awe-inspiring night sky, a cosmos made out of lights, reflective surfaces, and glimmering jewel-like resin shapes suspended in a darkened gallery space.

Korean, b. 1970, based in Seoul, Korea