Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Monday, December 12, 2016
Contact Info: 

Erika Monroe-Kane, Director of Communications
608.257.0158 x 237 or

Do Ho Suh Exhibition Opening at MMoCA

 Do Ho Suh Exhibition Opening at MMoCA

February 11–May 14, 2017

Opening Reception Friday, February 10


MADISON, WI—The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) presents an exhibition of work by renowned Korean-born sculptor and installation artist Do Ho Suh, on view from February 11 through May 14. An MMoCA Nights opening reception will take place on Friday, February 10 from 6-9 pm, featuring an artist talk by Do Ho Suh. Internationally acclaimed for meticulous, mesmerizing sculptures and installations that relate to his personal experiences of Eastern and Western cultures, Suh crafts evocative works that reflect ideas of home, identity, and personal space.

Encompassing MMoCA’s main galleries, the exhibition includes a large-scale, three-part architectural installation that visitors can enter and walk through, in addition to a number of works on paper, documentary films, and illuminated sculptures from the artist’s Specimen Series.  Organized by The Contemporary Austin with additional support by Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York and Hong Kong, the traveling exhibition will conclude its four-city tour in Madison, with MMoCA serving as the final venue for audiences to experience this visually stunning show.

“I am excited that MMoCA is able to bring Do Ho Suh’s work to Madison audiences. His deeply layered and nuanced works are certain to resonate with the museum’s visitors,” stated Stephen Fleischman, MMoCA director.

Do Ho Suh’s work draws on the artist’s personal experiences growing up in Seoul, South Korea, studying art in the US, and moving homes several times over the course of his life. He now lives a global and “nomadic” existence, with homes in New York, London, and Seoul, and an exhibition schedule that reflects this, taking him all over the world. Inspired by his personal history and biography, the artist’s sculptures and installations reveal a range of powerful themes, including notions of public versus private space, global identity, memory, and displacement. At the same time, Suh’s works strike viewers with their delicate monumentality, subtle beauty, and intricate construction techniques. This distinctive combination of technical skill, striking visual appeal, and universal resonance has led to both critical and public success for the artist.


Do Ho Suh will transform MMoCA’s main galleries into a realm of transparency and light. Central to the exhibition is a life-sized installation of fabric rooms and passageways that replicate the artist’s New York apartment and studio space at 348 West 22nd Street. Suh created each of the three installations—Apartment A, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA (2011–2012), Corridor and Staircase, 348 West 22nd Street New York, NY 10011, USA (2011–2012), and Unit 2, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA (2014)—from swaths of luminously colored polyester fabric held together by a subtly incorporated stainless steel armature. Combined and presented together, this three-part architectural recreation allows for the public to wander through an ephemeral, dreamlike representation of a piece of the artist’s personal history, rendered in blocks of translucent color that at once conceal and reveal the details articulated within. A long, salmon-colored corridor connects to a bright red stairway suspended from the ceiling. A veil of blue walls contains a kitchen, bathroom, and living spaces with details including window moldings and interior fixtures. And in Unit 2, the artist’s latest and final work in the series, yellow walls describe additional rooms, which the artist has added to his New York apartment and that served alternately as his studio space and living quarters.

Specially constructed for the exhibition, a self-enclosed room built in the back of the gallery offers a dark and intimate space to view works from Suh’s Specimen Series—a body of work that replicates in exacting detail everyday domestic appliances and fixtures, such as a refrigerator, stove, bathtub, and toilet. Contained in light-filled Plexiglas boxes and made from translucent fabric over steel frames, the sculptures emit a ghostly glow in the darkened space. Also in this space is Secret Garden – 1 (2012), a 1:16 scale model and related animation of Suh’s Korean house and garden being moved via semi-trailer truck to Madison Square Garden. In addition, two giant rubbings made by Suh of the inside of his 348 West 22nd Street apartment flank the gallery walls. Where the fabric sculpture offers a spatial experience that approximates Suh’s residence and studio, the rubbings provide exact details of the apartment’s surfaces and fixtures. Nearby watercolor paintings and thread drawings symbolically examine the figure in relation to buildings and homes. On view in the Imprint Gallery, MMoCA’s dedicated multimedia gallery, behind-the-scenes documentaries reveal the artist’s unique processes to create diverse works over the past ten years.

In speaking about his work, Suh has stated, "Everything starts from an idea of personal space—what is the dimension of personal space. What makes a person a person, and when does a person become a group? What is interpersonal space—space between people?” Absent didactic explanation but ripe with evocative content, Suh’s poetic works ask viewers to consider the definition of home: what it means, how it feels to have a home or be without, and the way in which we carry our past, present, and future dwellings around with us for the entirety of our lives.


Born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1962, Do Ho Suh currently lives and works in London, New York City, and Seoul. Suh received Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in Oriental Painting from Seoul National University before moving to the United States, where he received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (1994) and an MFA from Yale University (1997).

Suh’s recent solo exhibitions and projects include Passage, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (2016), Do Ho Suh, The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center, Austin, Texas (2014), Home within Home within Home within Home within Home, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (2013); Do Ho Suh: Perfect Home, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2012–2013); In Between, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima (2012); Fallen Star, Stuart Collection, University of San Diego, California (2012); and Home within Home, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul (2012). The artist represented Korea at the 2001 Venice Biennale.

The artist’s work is included in museum collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate Modern, London; the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art and Artsonje Center, Seoul; the Museum of Contemporary Art and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan, among many others. In 2013, Suh was named WSJ. Magazine’s Art Innovator of the Year.


Do Ho Suh was organized by The Contemporary Austin with additional support by Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York and Hong Kong. To date, generous funding for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art 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; Hooper Corporation and General Heating & Air Conditioning;  J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.; JoAnne Robbins and David Falk; Gabriele Haberland and Willy Haeberli; a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts; and MMoCA Volunteers.


Hours at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art are Tuesday–Thursday (noon–5 pm); Friday (noon–8 pm); Saturday (10 am–8 pm); and Sunday (noon–5 pm). The museum is closed on Mondays. 

Housed in a soaring, Cesar Pelli-designed building on State Street, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art offers free admission to exhibitions and education programs that engage people in modern and contemporary art. The four galleries offer changing exhibitions that feature established and emerging artists. The Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view. The award-winning Museum Store offers contemporary American craft and fine jewelry, while Fresco, the museum’s rooftop restaurant, features local, seasonal ingredients in fine American cuisine.







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