Do Ho Suh. (2011-2014). Polyester fabric and stainless steel tubes.
This exhibit haunts me. I think of it so much. It was one of my favorites that I’ve ever seen. I was counting the days to the exhibit opening because I was familiar with Do Ho Suh’s work from my very own college campus. His work a, entitled Fallen Star, is one of my favorite of the works in the Stuart Collection at UCSD. It’s infamously known as what it literally is, a house hanging off the edge of the 7th floor of the Jacob’s Engineering building.
I’ve always loved the work because the house itself, though one room, is packed with minute details – rugs, lights, books in a bookshelf, a couch, a writing desk, framed photos on the walls, a garden in the front, on and on. The lights even turn on and off at night on a timer. His work at UCSD focuses on themes of displacement and the familiar vs. the unfamiliar, as well as the associations and power of memory.
This work focuses on similar themes in a different light. The series of works that Suh constructs in this medium are to scale reproductions of the apartment he lived in in New York made out of translucent colored polyester fabric. The amount of detail, sewn into the fabric, from light switches to the recycling flyer in the hallway, is absolutely incredible.
Furthermore, I still think of the presentation and information given for the this installation. It’s one of the exhibits that made me realize that curating is what I am passionate about and what I want to do as a career. The curator described Suh’s work as that about “experience, the memory of place, and the alchemy of the familiar into the poetic and powerful.” And that phrasing has struck a chord with me ever since viewing it. Suh’s work is perfectly summed in that and it’s atmosphere of delicate beauty is something I am not likely to ever forget.