Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Do Ho Suh: Home Within Home

In Home Within Home, on view at Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Do Ho Suh’s works explore culturally and physically different domestic spaces and the displacement the artist felt after his move in 1991 from Korea to the U.S. to study at RISD in Providence, Rhode Island.

His work, Fallen Star 1/5, unfolds a narrative in which Suh’s childhood Korean home is transported to the U.S. by a tornado and collides with a townhouse in Providence, Rhode Island. The four story Rhode Island townhouse is almost room-size and engulfs the one story temple-like Korean home. Its meticulously crafted rooms make the destruction caused by the collision of these two houses especially startling.

Another work, Home within Home, is a more ambiguous fusion of the Providence townhouse and the traditional Korean home. The viewer is able to walk between a translucent green architectural model that is divided into four pieces to discover the two styles of homes seamlessly combined into one.

Specimen Series is a collection of translucent blue fabric replicas of objects commonly found in a New York apartment. The objects are so carefully stitched that the viewer can imagine the artist’s desire to care about his surroundings, though their delicacy and non-functionality suggest a timidity that one might feel getting used to a new place.

These carefully crafted interiors and objects convey the artist’s experiences of being transplanted into a new culture, whether they are perceived as a startling collision or a more enigmatic feeling of not belonging.


  1. Greetings Elizabeth,....After reading your blog I felt convinced, informed, and enticed to seek out this exhibition (though it wasn't personally one of my favourites.)

    Your second paragraph I feel needs a little bit more description into how the collisions bring to light the cultural clash that the artist conveys...perhaps a description into the differing furnitute, structure, and/ or even the scale of both houses, instead of concentrating on the Rhode Island townhouse solely.

    In your fourth paragraph your explanation of how the Specimen Series functions is obscure. An elaboration on how their delicate aesthetic illicit pity on behalf the owner. Additionally, "...who's experience they are mirroring" needs to be corrected to "whose experience they are mirroring."

    Your conclusion is open- ended conjuring interest and curiosity as it invites the viewer to experience this cultural exhibition for themselves.



  2. This was one of my personal favorite shows we have seen. You seem to adequately describe each "piece" as well as the underlying meaning behind the pieces. I thought that each description clearly gave the viewer the sense of what is in the exhibition. My only critique of your writing sample is that the conclusion at the end is a little lacking. You have described the show in depth but not given the reader your assessment of the show as clearly are your description. The ending seems like it needs to come together better. Otherwise I really enjoyed your article! It made me want to see the show all over again.