Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Do-Ho Suh

Do-Ho Suh’s work often explores the idea of scale and the places in which objects come from. Mini human figures, military dog tags, and cloth homes, are all objects Do-Ho Suh works with and changes conventional notions with. With these, he questions identity of people working together and as individuals.

Staircase V, 2008

Polyester and stainless steel tubes

This translucent orange-red polyester ceiling and staircase is a great example of the way Do-Ho Suh plays with the idea of space. The fabric seems to slouch yet looks as if you could walk up those stairs into the top floor. He is turning the regular space into a lower level by adding the railing above the ceiling that he created. The way he made the ceiling was very geometric and mimics ceiling tiles, yet you can see through them, allowing the viewer to put themselves in that upper floor.

The Perfect Home II, 2003

 translucent nylon,

110 x 240 x 516 inches

This piece has much more intimate meaning than the Staircase V. The color itself makes it feel more intimate than the bright orange; the cool and pastel blues and light violets make it almost ghost like. The bathroom and kitchen that can be seen in the first picture are incredible well thought out and technically beautiful. When I look at it I feel as if I could turn the knobs of the stove, open the cabinets, open the doors, and even flush the toilet. I don’t know how he makes something so soft as this fabric to look as if it is actual hard walls and objects. Brilliant.

Some/One, 2001

Stainless steel military dog tags, nickel plated copper sheets, steel structure, glass fiber reinforced resin, and rubber sheets

The title is very informative in this piece. Each individual tag represents one person, but here they are all interacting with each other to form this ghost like robe. This is another piece that is really good at representing the way that Do-Ho Suh works with the individual and their interactions with the whole. This piece is comprised of 40,000 dog tags. I think the ghost like view of this plays into the idea of mortality as a soldier. When tags are received from a body, it usually means they have passed; it is a way to tell who the person is. These 40,000 tags represent a very large body count.

Floor, 1997

This again, is showing how Do-Ho Suh enjoys working with the individual and the whole. All of these little casted people can hold up people walking on them. These two inch high figures all have their hands raised above their heads and they are all looking up at who they are supporting.

Karma, 2003

This is again playing with the small cast people holding up a larger character. I think the informative title turns it into something that is a burden and a punishment. The little people are almost like the big shoe’s shadow, and they have to keep up wit it.

Who Am We?, 1996

These portraits are teenagers, about 40,000 of them. They were taken from the artist’s high-school yearbooks. You cannot tell these are photos or even recognize them individually until you are quite close to the wallpaper. When you get close, this pattern of dots become more recognizable as  human faces. This is again playing with the idea of the individual being a part of the whole.

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