Fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming an artist, Young-Deok Seo’s passion for art has never ceased. Today Young-Deok sculpts using the relatively harsh medium of chain, creating human figures with soft curves and expressive dispositions. For him, the intertwined links of chain convey the power and fragility of mankind during a time of chaotic industrialization.

The M.A.D.Gallery has curated a collection of the Korean artist’s impressive sculptures duly named LINK, exhibiting now in the Geneva showroom. Young-Deok’s contemporary sculptures tell people’s stories and evoke strong emotions from observers – here at the M.A.D.Gallery they send our minds spinning. Young-Deok has immense talent and fervor, which are apparent through his brilliant and unconventional use of the simple link chain to create powerful works of art.

“One day, I came across a pile of metal chain dumped on the street,” Young-Deok describes the inspiration for his medium of choice, “It seemed a machine-like thing wriggling as if it had life. I felt like I was looking at a jerking human being lying on the street. At that moment, I thought I might make a human body with this chain, which might be the best material to describe entangled lives of contemporaries. So I started to learn welding techniques and tried to apply them to my artistic work.”

The entangled sculptures in the LINK collection are created through a meticulous and laborious process of welding chain to reveal the complexities of the human character suggesting that today’s industrial and materialistic civilization represses the human spirit.

Poised in the classic position, The thinker 300 (limited to 8 pieces) is a faceless male figure sitting with his chin resting on his hand and slumped on his knees perhaps contemplating the world’s problems. Made of iron bike chain, each of the links positioned ever so carefully shapes muscles as they transform into the human body. This pondering sculpture, weighing 60 kg and measuring 122 cm tall, is the largest artpiece in the collection.

At first glance, Anguish 23 (limited to 8 pieces) appears to be a classical bust; however, a closer look reveals that this is not the case. Stainless steel industrial chain links intertwine and twist through the work to transform into the head, the face left to the viewer’s imagination.

The human figure in Meditation 285 (limited to 10 pieces) is crafted with iron bike chain rusted to evoke an aged feeling, poised in a half-crouched, half-kneeling position with elegantly outstretched arms. This emotionally powerful art piece measures 164 cm in length and 85 cm in height. Creating a strong human figure using chain is not easy, and Young-Deok masterfully executes his artistic vision. In addition, the facelessness of the sculpture generates thought, emotion, and curiosity in the observer.

Meditation 130 (limited to 10 pieces) focuses on peacefulness, the face with its gently closed eyes and lips at rest. The stainless steel bike chain is intricately positioned, creating a 110 x 75 cm wall-mounted sculpture. People often say the purpose of meditation is to still the mind, and this piece reflects that deep-thought state perfectly.

The aptly named Nirvana 37 (limited to 20 pieces) portrays a state of perfect happiness – nirvana – the ultimate goal of Buddhism. Despite the intricacies of the woven stainless steel chain, the face of this sculpture evokes stillness.

Why is there a number in the title of each piece? That number is the length in meters of chain used to create the work. For example, The thinker 300 uses 300 metres of bike chain! Each work of art includes a signature engraved on the side or bottom as well as a letter of guarantee.

“It is my intention to feel what the audience sees, to reveal emotions directly without avoiding them,” Young-Deok expresses of his three-dimensional works, “If they feel it’s beautiful, it will be beautiful, and if they think it’s ugly, it will be ugly; my direction is to be as honest as possible.”

Beautiful or ugly? Decide for yourself by visiting our Geneva gallery for a firsthand look at the LINK exhibition. If Geneva isn't in your travel plans, please don't hesitate to contact us at or stay in touch with the latest happenings at the MB&F M.A.D.Gallery online and via our Facebook and Instagram (@mbfmadgallery) accounts.

Warmest regards. 

Arnaud Légeret