The Work of Do Ho Suh

Korean artist Do Ho Suh transforms ordinary subjects into intricate, delicate apparitions and playful ghosts of their utilitarian origins.  His fabric sculptures float in a state of ghostly suspension sometimes duplicating in mirror image or strange dimensional infractions that grow from translucent, fabric horizons.  His use of bold primary colours and familiar objects implies a child-like approach to his work.  His sculptures and drawings are psychological and emotional, manifesting in various architectural forms and recorded with mathematical precision.  They defy expected limitations and functional contexts changing the role of his audience from that of consumer or oblivious user to admirer and viewer. The son of a traditional Korean painter, Suh relocated to the US to study and now works between New York and Seoul.  Such contrasting bases must heighten the artist’s acute sense of contrasting attitudes to collective conscience, individuality and identity, implied in his work.  Suh draws attention to the way we occupy and inhabit public space and the way we acknowledge individual figures compared with our treatment of collective bodies of ambiguous members.  Several of his floor sculptures comprise of thousands of diminutive military human figures which his audience is invited to walk over.  Other works elevate and alter the scale of inanimate objects, forcing us to change the way we notice and approach them by removing their practical application and rendering them precious and unique.  Part of Suh’s visual language is his rich use of rippling and rhythmic pattern, as if some of his repetitive forms and lines have impacted the air around them like a drop in water.  Such subtle and exacting construction with relevant and direct subject matter is what makes Suh’s work so unique.

 

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