Looking for an exhibition to visit in Sydney these Christmas holidays? Do Ho Suh’s major new survey at Sydney’s MCA is extraordinary, writes Gillian Serisier.
December 27th, 2022
Possibly the best exhibition to pair art and architecture this year, Do Ho Suh’s major new survey at Sydney’s MCA (running until 26 February 2023) is extraordinary.
The first solo exhibition of the South Korean artist’s work in the Southern Hemisphere, the extensive exhibition will premiere the new installation, Rubbing/Loving Project: Seoul Home (2013-2022). And the Hub series (pictured in this article) – a series of brightly coloured, interconnecting fabric structures that replicate transitional spaces such as corridors, entry ways and foyers. Visitors can walk through these.
Known for his large-scale sculptural and installation works, Suh’s work explores the complex relationships between the body, memory and space, belonging, identity and home. Concerns around the diasporic experience and distance between cultures are invested by the artist through the home as the encapsulation of our shared physical and psychological experience.
“Much of my work is taken up with the idea of how we clothe our movements through the world – through time (linear and non-linear) and place. I’m interested in survival techniques, the spaces we carry within, as well as those we occupy externally. I hope the exhibition will strike a chord at a time when we have all been forced to consider the boundaries and strictures of different spaces anew,” says Do Ho Suh.
Arguably it is the full scale replicas of the domestic spaces and studios he has inhabited, that are the most captivating. Realised in diverse materials, from steel military ‘dog tags’ to fabric to mulberry paper, these intimate and evocative artworks can be walked around, through and within.
They are also coloured in extraordinary blocks of vivid colour that in being transparent, cause colours to overlap and form new colours as a metaphor for the interstitial life of domestic spaces.
“Do Ho Suh’s evocative artworks sit at the intersection of memory, place and diasporic experience. Reflecting on his own life journey, and the spaces he has inhabited from Seoul to New York to London, they gently map a wider communal experience. If the body is a vessel and the home (or artist’s studio) is its container, Suh’s works suggest the traces of a thousand lives lived, with points of intersection and divergence interwoven through,” inding us of our shared humanity, and equally, the fine balance between inner and outer worlds,” says MCA guest curator Rachel Kent.
“Encompassing translucent fabric, thread and rubbings on paper, as well as other, more enduring materials, Suh’s works sit between the collective and the individual – reminding us of our shared humanity, and equally, the fine balance between inner and outer worlds,” says Kent.
The survey exhibition spans three decades, from the 1990s to the present, and includes key works across sculptures, installations, drawings, printmaking, and video. The exhibition runs until 26 February 2023.
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