In-between spaces. By En Liang Khong
In 1991, after arriving in the United States from Seoul, the artist Do Ho Suh felt a deep sense of dislocation. He started to reflect on the mnemonic bond between him and his environment, past and present. “When you think about the home, it’s permanent, always there”, he told me. “But as I left Korea, I began to think of it as transportable.”
Eight years later, Suh arrived at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, carrying two suitcases. Folded inside was a full-scale, three-dimensional facsimile of his family house in Seoul, recast in a translucent celadon-green silk, and stitched together by the needlework of traditional Korean seamstresses. Suh’s original childhood home was a hanok, modelled after a scholar’s residence that had originally been part of a nineteenth-century palace. Now Suh suspended its spectral counterpart mid-air in the gallery space. Its title grows as Suh travels across the world: at first it was “Seoul Home”; now it is “Seoul Home / LA Home / New York Home / Baltimore Home / London Home”. “From the beginning, I’ve seen space as movable”, Suh says.
Image: Do Ho Suh, Passage/s: The Pram Project, 2014-2016