How Artists Reveal the Emotion Hidden in Our Cities. By Alice Bucknell
When was the last time you cried over a table, or experienced an existential crisis while crossing a footbridge? Unless you’re an architect or designer, the answer is probably never. But contrary to the feel of anonymous glassy high-rises and soulless minimal furnishings defining contemporary city life, the built environment exerts an enormous psychological and affective power over its public. Three concurrent exhibitions in London reveal the emotionalism of such human landscapes, recasting objects and places we interact with daily as vessels capable of storing both personal and collective memory.
In the heart of the City, surrounded by sprawling modernist skyscrapers, a hanok – a traditional Korean house – has materialized upon a public footbridge near Liverpool Street. From either side of the to-scale dwelling spills a tangled bamboo garden, while the house lurches precariously at an angle, as if poised to slip off the walkway and onto the honking traffic lined bumper-to-bumper on Wormwood Street below. Bridging Home, London (2018) by the South Korean artist Do Ho Suh – a commission by Art Night and Sculpture in the City – behaves, like memory, as both a temporary roadblock and a potential space of reorientation.
Image: Do Ho Suh, Bridging Home, London, installation view, London, 2018
Courtesy the artist, Lehmann Maupin, New York/Hong Kong/Seoul and Victoria Miro, London/Venice