EXCERPT FROM INTERVIEW WITH JI YONG HO - Artist using reclaimed rubber tyres to create sculpture
'Were you always magnetized to the idea of using old tyre parts? What was the motivational spark or moment of inspiration that had you choose the path of tire sculpting?'
'I wanted to express strong living things under, what I thought of as, the term ‘Mutant’. So I looked for some stuff which could express the concept of both soft and powerful. Also I thought that life belonged to Mother Nature, so I brought that into consideration as well. At the time, I had found tyre scraps stuck behind my jeep, all roughly cut and stuck between the surfaces of the wheels. I felt that these grooves and slivers could be controlled, and soon enough, they became the body of my actual work. After a few years, I’ve been able to establish my style that you see today. I don’t think there is only one way to expression. The tyre was just the best material to express my vision of ‘Mutant’, there isn’t any more meaning to the material other than that. If I change or vary the theme or concept, it is because I have changed the medium I’m working with.'
Interesting to consider RUBBER as the conflict of the natural and the manmade; a natural substance now more commonly associated with industry and mechanics. Ji Yong Ho seems to reference this through his creation of 'mutants'; rather than the thought of mythical beasts which combine animal and human, 'mutant' sounds altogether more unnatural, as if merged with machine.
© Katie Eilidh MacDonald Paul, all rights reserved