about the exhibition
New Works 06.2
New York, New York
July 06–September 10, 2006about the artist
Korean-born Do-Ho Suh’s sculptures reflect his bi-national journeying and explore relationships between the individual and the greater cultural and spatial whole. Meditating upon architecture, Eastern thought, and autobiographical details, Suh’s poetic, large-scale works materially connect personal and collective identity.
One series of installations traces Suh’s unsettled Korean/American existence by fashioning details of his past residences–a Korean home, a New York apartment–in translucent nylon. Traveling from exhibition to exhibition, each life-size fabric replica becomes a vehicle for memory and belonging: a global security blanket and a transposable definition of self. Other projects extend this metaphor. Military dog tags amass into an armored gown, signatures into a saving parachute, and small figurines into a supporting floor, emphasizing human interdependence and inseparability.
Born in Seoul, Korea in 1962, Do-Ho Suh lives and works there and in New York, NY. He holds MFA degrees from Yale University, New Haven, CT (1997) and Seoul National University, Korea (1987). Solo exhibitions include Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia, PA (2005); Lehmann Maupin, New York, NY (2004); and Serpentine Galley, London, UK (2002). Group exhibitions include Another Story, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2005); 8th International Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2003); and Plateau of Humankind, 49th Venice Biennale, Italy (2001).
about the project
Fallen Star (Lone Star Version) presents two chapters from a larger sculptural narrative, The Speculation Projects. Detailing a hypothetical account of his move from Korea to the United States, Wind of Destiny and A New Beginning also provide glimpses, for the first time, into the artist’s working process. A partition, tools, scraps, and photo-documents compose a personal workshop-turned-installation, displaying Suh’s past and future.
Wind of Destiny, an eight-foot-high Styrofoam tornado, rears up from the floor just past the partition’s doorway. A model of Suh’s childhood house perches perilously on top, illustrating the narrative moment in which Suh and his Korean home are sucked from their roots to rest uncertainly on a moving column of sky. A nod to Dorothy’s infamous displacement, Suh’s gust also suggests the Korean concept of Inyeon, or fate. Suh’s direction has shifted. His new path, like his work, is carved by pre-destiny, will, or the accumulation of both.
Suh’s twister, having traversed the Pacific, shipwrecks the artist and his house into an apartment building to form A New Beginning. A larger than dollhouse-sized mock-up depicts the Korean home sinking into the side of Suh’s first United States residence in Providence, RI. Establishing an unstable symbiosis, the collision also strands Suh on a sculptural and metaphorical island. Culturally isolated, he survives by founding his life’s work, the ongoing fabrication of model supports and life-size structures that bridge his two worlds.
Fallen Star builds a story animated not just by climatic moments, but also through continuous making. By realizing models and model-making as finished works, Suh keeps his sculptures, and himself, on the plane of ideas: speculative and migratory.
-Kurt Dominick Mueller
Graduate Curatorial Intern