Korean artist Yong Ho Ji creates animal/human hybrids made out of recycled tires. Ji calls his variations “mutants” in order to refer to both their hybrid forms and their recycled medium. “My concept is mutation,” Ji says, “the end product is technically from nature; it is made from the white sap of latex trees but here it has changed. The color is black and the look is scary.”
Ji looks to create a variation of carnivorous, herbivorous and omnivorous animals, as well as arthropods, fish and hybrids of such animals. By pasting and reshaping strips of used tires onto molds and frames he makes himself, Ji mimics the way real skin and muscles move and hang on to animal’s skeletons. The process is labor intensive. However, his realistic, detailed approach makes his work that much more surreal.
Ji’s choice of materials and concepts alike poses interesting questions regarding mass production, technology and genetic engineering. While the constant production of new tires can be seen as a symbol of consumerism, Ji’s hybrids showcase the incessant human desire to “play God” and challenge nature’s will through advanced technologies.