Do Ho Suh recreated entire apartment in museum

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, Apartment A, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA, at MOCA Cleveland, 2015, Photo Jerry Birchfield 2
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, Apartment A, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA, MOCA Cleveland, 2015
Photo: Jerry Birchfield

Why did Do Ho Suh create this work?

South Korean artist Do Ho Suh created an installation based on his New York home. It serves to highlight the permeable margins that are said to disconnect private and public in addition to the normalized concepts global identity, space and place, diasporic movement, memory, and displacement. Do Ho Su’s biography is the inspiration of the architectural settings and abstracted figures.

New York City Apartment is a piece that is cognizant of the artists individual lived experiences, significantly lighting his move from South Korea to the United States, in addition to the places he has called home such as his childhood home (a traditional hanok-style Korean house), the house in Rhode Island where he once lived as a student, and his current apartment in New York City.

A truly soft toilet

The main installation seems to represent almost any and every single bedroom apartment in New York with its one living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. Each piece of the home-like installation hangs in apparent stability, however, with the lack of foundation alerts audiences to the precarious fragility of the polyester home. Even the items featured that your mind wants you to think are hard, a toilet made of solid porcelain, a heater, a light switch embedded into a wall is truly soft and material that is hardly there- leading many viewers to question if the solid objects that these translucent representations epitomize are any less precarious than the monochrome polyester. Is home the thing we feel is most stable, truly something forever, or something that delicately hangs in the balance and can change?

Recurring themes in Do Ho Suh’s work

His work invokes transparency, gradating space and intermediate areas in Korean architecture, and has been taken various physical forms such as the recapitulations of large-scale house sculptures, identifying the ostinatos of his past and present family homes, intersected in a way that makes the interiors visible. Do’s use of monochrome polyester transparent structures are luminous, architectural, and fleeting, allowing audiences to roam through the disorienting interior passageways.

Photos: Exhibition at MOCA Cleveland, 2015

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, Apartment A, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA, at MOCA Cleveland, 2015, Photo Jerry Birchfield 1
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, Apartment A, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA, MOCA Cleveland, 2015
Photo: Jerry Birchfield

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, Photo Jerry Birchfield 1
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, 2015
Photo: Jerry Birchfield

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, Photo Jerry Birchfield 2
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, 2015
Photo: Jerry Birchfield

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, Photo Jerry Birchfield 3
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, 2015
Photo: Jerry Birchfield

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, Photo Jerry Birchfield 4
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, 2015
Photo: Jerry Birchfield

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, Photo Jerry Birchfield 6

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, Photo Jerry Birchfield 7
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, 2015
Photo: Jerry Birchfield

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, Photo Jerry Birchfield 8
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, 2015
Photo: Jerry Birchfield

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, Photo Jerry Birchfield 9
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, 2015
Photo: Jerry Birchfield

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, Photo Jerry Birchfield 10
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, MOCA Cleveland, 2015
Photo: Jerry Birchfield

Photos: Exhibition at Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, 2016

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center 2
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center 1
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center

Photos: Exhibition at The Contemporary Austin, 2014

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, The Contemporary Austin, Photo by Brian Fitzsimmons
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, The Contemporary Austin
Photo: Brian Fitzsimmons

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, The Contemporary Austin 1
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, The Contemporary Austin
Photo: Brian Fitzsimmons

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, Apartment A, Unit 2, Corridor and Staircase, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY, 10011, USA. 2011–2014 (detail), The Contemporary Austin, Photo Brian Fitzsimmons 4
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, Apartment A, Unit 2, Corridor and Staircase, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY, 10011, USA. 2011–2014 (detail), The Contemporary Austin
Photo: Brian Fitzsimmons

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, Apartment A, Unit 2, Corridor and Staircase, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY, 10011, USA. 2011–2014, The Contemporary Austin, Photo Brian Fitzsimmons 2
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, Apartment A, Unit 2, Corridor and Staircase, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY, 10011, USA. 2011–2014 (detail), The Contemporary Austin
Photo: Brian Fitzsimmons

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, Apartment A, Unit 2, Corridor and Staircase, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY, 10011, USA. 2011–2014 (detail), The Contemporary Austin, Photo Brian Fitzsimmons 3
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, Apartment A, Unit 2, Corridor and Staircase, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY, 10011, USA. 2011–2014 (detail), The Contemporary Austin
Photo: Brian Fitzsimmons

Photos: Exhibition at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2015

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, Corridor : Ground Floor Plus Staircase, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2015
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, Corridor : Ground Floor Plus Staircase (detail), Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2015

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2015
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2015

Do Ho Suh – New York City Apartment, Corridor - Ground Floor Plus Staircase, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2015
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, Corridor : Ground Floor Plus Staircase, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2015

Do Ho Suh – New York City Apartment, Staircase (detail), Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2015
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, Staircase (detail), Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2015

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, Corridor : Ground Floor Plus Staircase, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2015 3
Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, Corridor : Ground Floor Plus Staircase, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2015

Video: Interview Do Ho Suh

24min 17sec

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