Suh first began rendering domestic structures in 1994, an impulse turned into life’s work. These have been manifested, on one hand, in iterations of large-scale house sculptures—also riffs on his past and present family homes—variously bisected to show their interiors, teetering precariously atop or wedged between structures, or displayed in a gallery as if they have crashed through the ceiling, cast down by Dorothy’s tornado. Suh also weaves transparent structures made of monochrome polyester, at once luminous, architectural, and ephemeral, inviting viewers to wander through their dreamlike interior passageways (which might be replete with toilets and light switches). These transplanted homes are playful and imaginative but also deeply melancholy in their manifestation of disorientation: as impressions of the many residences in which Suh and his family have lived, they testify to the global and poignantly elusive nature of “home” as seen through the artist’s eyes.
This exhibition is a multipart installation including architectural structures, documentary films, and drawings and related models. The show includes light box objects from his Specimen Series, including a radiator, refrigerator, stove, and toilet. A video room will contain a behind-the-scenes series of documentaries showing the artist creating work over the past ten years. The exhibition centerpiece is a series of rooms and passageways from Suh’s 348 West 22nd Street apartment complex and studio where he lived in New York City. This installation is a full-scale model of the artist's apartment, represented in pink, blue, and yellow fabric. Audiences will be able to tour the space, moving between rooms and taking in its sewn radiators, sinks, and bricks.
Generous funding, to date, for Do Ho Suh has been provided by Sylvia Vaccaro; a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts; and MMoCA Volunteers.
Image: Do Ho Suh, Apartment A, Unit 2, Corridor and Staircase, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA (detail), 2011–2014, polyester fabric and stainless steel tubes. Installation view, MOCA Cleveland, 2015. Photo: Jerry Birchfield. © MOCA Cleveland.