Do Ho Suh (b. 1962, Seoul, South Korea) is internationally acclaimed for meticulous, mesmerizing sculptures and installations that relate to his personal experiences living in both Eastern and Western cultures. Suh's move from South Korea to the United States in 1991 to attend the Rhode Island School of Design inspired his focus on the house as a primary subject. Reimagining and reconstructing his various homes, the artist creates works of art that highlight the porous boundary between public and private space, and explore notions of global identity, space, nomadism, memory, and displacement.
Suh first began rendering domestic structures in 1994, an impulse turned into life’s work. At once luminous, architectural, and ephemeral, these transplanted homes are playful and imaginative but also deeply melancholy in their manifestation of disorientation: as impressions of the many residences in which Suh and his family have lived, they testify to the global and poignantly elusive nature of “home” as seen through the artist’s eyes.
Located primarily in MMoCA's main galleries, this multi-part installation presents large-scale architectural structures, documentary films, illuminated sculptures, and works on paper. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a full-scale replica of Suh’s New York City apartment and studio created from translucent colored fabric. Entering into the space, audience members can wander through its dreamlike interior rooms and passageways, and revel in the details of its delicately sewn radiators, sinks, and bricks. In addition, a separate room within the gallery contains objects from the artist’s Specimen Series—a collection of domestic appliances, such as a refrigerator and stove, that Suh replicated in diaphanous fabric and installed in light-filled Plexiglas boxes.
In MMoCA's adjacent Imprint Gallery, visitors can view Do Ho Suh's Secret Garden–1 (2012), a 1:16 scale model and animation of Suh's Korean house and garden mounted on the back of a flatbed semi-truck. The sculpture and its related animation represent a proposal by Suh for Madison Square Park that would replicate his private residence in a public environment for all to experience.
Do Ho Suh is organized by The Contemporary Austin with additional support by Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.
Generous funding for the Wisconsin presentation of Do Ho Suh has been provided by Ellen Rosner and Paul J. Reckwerdt; Sylvia Vaccaro; Peggy and Tom Pyle; Sara Guyer and Scott Straus; Mary Ellyn and Joe Sensenbrenner; Nancy Doll and Michael Bernhard; Kit and Phil Blake; Gabriele Haberland and Willy Haeberli; Hooper Corporation and General Heating & Air Conditioning; J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.; JoAnne Robbins and David Falk; Deirdre Garton; Perkins Coie LLP; Qual Line Fence Corp.; RSM; a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts; and MMoCA Volunteers.