We usually think of nature and machinery as opposing forces, but in the hands of Eli Yoo, creator of M.C.A. Studio, they become one. His highly detailed sculptures reimagine whales as enormous cities roaming the ocean and as detailed steampunk creatures. In this way, he has envisioned a sci-fi future where the organic and the man-made are fully integrated.
“My passion is on transforming carbon-based life into silicon-based life or semi-carbon & silicon,” Yoo told My Modern Met. The artist, who has a background in electronic engineering, learned mechanics by himself. Among his first experiments was a sculpture that combined a beetle with a clock. “I have dreamed a world where all creatures have been transformed by human beings that makes them a combination of organic and mechanics.”
As such, his futuristic whale sculptures depict these gentle giants as futuristic beings with bolts and gear, swimming across the ocean and moving an entire city on their backs. Yoo's other creations picture whales as steampunk creatures covered in bulbs or as adventurous mutants ready to roam the sea. “I want to create life from objects, such as insects, fish, and animals sometimes in my imagination,” he says. “To create the body, I use resin, wires, and machine parts. After painting with lacquer paint, I decorate with metal and electric parts such as bolts, nuts, and so on.”
The inspiration behind his whale-based pieces is the towering aircraft carrier, one of the largest types of warships. “I created [a] whale city that dominates the ocean. This whale city is still the largest ocean creature in the future, just like it is today,” Yoo said. “Our dream is to create a real new species which has its own appearance and built-in artificial intelligence. It is not only a beautiful kinetic sculpture but also a robot pet that can be a super-smart partner.”
Meanwhile, you can add these conversation-starter pieces to your living room by ordering them from Etsy.