Do Ho Suh recreated entire apartment in museum

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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

Published: January 27, 2017

Last updated:

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

New York City Apartment is a piece that is cognizant of the artist’s individual lived experiences, significantly lighting his move from South Korea to the United States, in addition to the places he has called home. Amongst these places are 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 central 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. Your mind wants you to think that some of these items are hard: A toilet made of solid porcelain, a heater, a light switch embedded into a wall. However, they are truly soft and the material is hardly there. This leads 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?

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

Recurring themes in Do Ho Suh’s work

His work invokes transparency, graduating space and intermediate areas in Korean architecture. It 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.

Video: Interview Do Ho Suh

24 min 17 sec

Fallen Star, 2012

One of his well-known sculptures in public space is called The Fallen Star, which depicts a Koran home crashing into the top of a building in Los Angeles. It is visited by thousands of people every month. The most unique thing about Do Ho Suh’s work is the attention to detail he incorporates into his work.

One of Do Ho Suh’s most famous works

One of his most famous works is Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home. In this piece, he depicts his childhood home in Korea by only using silk. He used unique and strong colors to depict different rooms and compartments in this piece. The attention to detail is impressive as his piece also depicts the doors and windows of his Korean home as well. He is also known to create a lot of famous buildings using the same method that includes the use of silk fabric. He uses a transparent silk fabric to create exact replicas of homes and famous buildings. One of the best things about his work is that he can even create a multiple story building using the same technique.

Do Ho Suh - Home Within Home Installation view, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea, November 12, 2013 – May 11, 2014

Do Ho Suh – Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home, installation view, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea, November 12, 2013 – May 11, 2014

Who is Do Ho Suh?

Do Ho Suh is a very popular Korean sculptor and an installation artist. He has a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from Seoul National University. He was born in Seoul but migrated to the United States, where his artistic style was entirely transformed.

Video: The Evocative Fabric Stylings of Do Ho Suh


24min 17sec

Exhibition photos

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, 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 2

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 3

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 4

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 6

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 7

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 8

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 10

Do Ho SuhNew York City Apartment, Apartment A, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA, MOCA Cleveland, 2015, photo: Jerry Birchfield

The Contemporary Austin, 2014
Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, The Contemporary Austin, Photo by Brian Fitzsimmons

Do Ho Suh – New York City Apartment, The Contemporary Austin, photo: Brian Fitzsimmons

Do Ho Suh - New York City Apartment, The Contemporary Austin 1

Do Ho Suh – New 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 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

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 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

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 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

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

Do Ho Suh - New 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

All images: Do Ho Suh unless otherwise noted.

 

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