With his kinetic artwork Custos Cavum (Guardian of the hole), the South Korean artist Choe U-Ram is one of the 15 finalists of the Signature Art Prize 2014. The piece is made of metallic material, resin, motor, gear, custom CPU board, and LEDs.
Choe U-Ram: Custos Cavum (Guardian of the hole), 2011, metallic material, resin, motor, gear, custom CPU board, LED. Signature Art Prize 2014 finalist, nominated by Ms. Kim Sun-Hee, Singapore Art Museum, January 24, 2015.
> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.
Once upon a time, there were two worlds. They were connected to each other through a number of small holes, as if the worlds were breathing through these holes. However, the holes had a tendency to close up, so there were guardians 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, 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 flew to a new hole, where it gave rise to a new Custos Cavum. As time went on, the people of each world gradually forgot about the other. The guardians lost their power and died, one after another. 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 people’s memories. Last night, I saw a Unicuses start to grow from the last bone of a Custos Cavum in my small garden. According to an old story, Unicuses will grow whenever the holes to the other world are open again.