The organic forms of Yi’s kelp pod sculptures at once resemble gestating pupae, insect hives, and bodily organs. A dull glow emanates from the sculptures emphasizing the sense that they are suspended in a simultaneous state of growth and decay, as one cannot tell if their light is growing or fading. In each sculpture small animatronic insects flit around, creating flickering shadow patterns on the internal surface and implying an ambiguously symbiotic relationship with the larger pod form, as though they could be helpful partners, progeny, parasites, or colonizers of the hive.
For the collection of kelp pods exhibited at Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Postnatal Egg, Yi was pondering this state of amorphous potency, imaging a perpetual meta-egg that could traverse different cycles of becoming, in much the same way that a single artwork in a series begets subsequent artworks, subsequent series, and so on. The creative impulse leads to the gestation and birth of creative works beyond the reproductive capacities of the physical body, a post-birth, postnatal type of fertility.
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