More about Seo Young-Deok
Between fullness and emptiness are resolved the bodies modeled by Seo, which, in the empty space, hark back to Eastern philosophies and, in the full, to ancient Western culture. The intensity and plasticity of the poses is, in fact, that of classical Greek sculpture. While the ability to nullify the inside, that is, to represent only pure breath, is reminiscent of Zen and other Eastern disciplines that impose the extinction of all passion and awareness in order to avoid suffering, since movement is pain and only the absence of movement is peace. Seo's bodies, built from iron chains, indeed imprisoned by iron chains, thus become, on the one hand, symbols of the beauty of the form that endures and, on the other, represent the emptying of humanity grappling with an increasingly inhuman contemporary world. In the endurance of form and the strength of the inner spirit, however, lies the miraculous possibility of still existing, a possibility that Seo's splendid sculptures seem to point out to the viewer.