Do Ho Suh's Latest Exhibition Hits Close to Home
Recently, Juxtapoz Magazine got an exclusive peek at the upcoming exhibition by Korean-born artist, Do Ho Suh, which will open for public viewing at the Museum Voorlinden in The Netherlands on the 18th of May. As the world-renowned artist's first European institutional presentation, the showcase provides an overview of his artistic practice from early portrait photography to his most recognizable architectural installations.
Raised in Seoul, Do Ho Suh has always been fascinated by architecture. He grew up in a traditional Hanok-style house that was built by his father using the exact measurements of the Royal Family's model. Once he began pursuing his artistic studies while traveling abroad, he developed a unique relationship with the concept of home. By viewing it as a second skin, as an article of clothing that forms a comfortable space around us, he began exploring the idea more deeply through different mediums in his work.
The show features two early portrait pieces that experiment with the position of an individual in society and the influence of society on an individual by merging the facial features of existing people into a new subject. Alongside these two portraits, there's his sculptural "self-portrait" which comprises of different uniforms the artist has been wearing since early childhood.
By viewing those garments as a second skin, this concept led to further exploration of his ideas of spaces. The exhibition continues onto two examples from his Rubbing/Loving projects, in which pencil-rubbing or crayon-rubbing symbolizes the embrace of all personal, cultural, and historical features of a space.
Further along, the textile-on-paper works are exhibited, directly leading viewers towards his most famed body of work, brightly colored spaces and furniture pieces made out of transparent fabric. Developed from the idea of "suitcase homes," these elaborate pieces are textile-based architectural spaces that can be folded and packed for transport on a journey and are in fact, exact replicas of Suh's former homes in South Korea, New York, Berlin, and London. All linked together like a chain, they are telling the personal story of his life in an original way that visitors can interact with.
Recreated with the most intricate details by using traditional Korean stitching and embroidery techniques, the works from his Passages series are so versatile that they seem to be changing their format, size and look in every new space they are exhibited. This continues to a large installation piece, Staircase, which is elevated from the ground and leads to airy space under the ceiling of the room.
By using light and ghostly installations one can personally experience, these works capture the elusive memories and dreamy emotions one feels about their home or familiar space. Finally, the exhibition closes with replicas and a video presentation of his famed architectural public art interventions.––Sasha Bogojev