Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Do-Ho Suh, Part Two

Do you remember my story about a trip to the Seattle Art Museum and seeing the beautiful sculpture of an Asian-style emperor's robe made of dog tags? (see: Archive - May, 2010) The sculptor of this memorable piece, Do-Ho Suh (1962-) is Korean and divides his time between New York and Seoul.

It is Suh's life in the two cities plus his time as a soldier under Korea's requirement of a 2-year military commitment that informs his art. His sculptures consider the complex relationship between individuality and the individual's responsibility to the collective culture. Pointedly, he titled the two series featured here as "Some/One" and "Cause/Effect."

Here are some of the thought-provoking installations and magnifications:


  1. His work seems to me to be about the need for cooperation. Like it takes a lot of individuals working together. I don't see much in terms of individuals. Meg

  2. I'd love to see these in person. The lttle figures are intriguing, and the use of them is brilliant. I see the many little ones holding up the one as metaphor for the socio-economic reality that is becoming the norm. Sadly I might add.

    The photo of the piece that looks to me like a collection of vertabrae made of something like glass. How big is the original? The overall effect is beautiful, but I suspect the meaning is not. SZ

  3. Hi SZ,

    I thought they looked like vertebrae, too. If you click to enlarge, you can see that they are people standing on each others' shoulders. I recommend enlarging all the detail images because Suh makes them all a little different upon close up. RA

  4. Wow! Amazing. Love it, His Emperor's Robe still reminds me of something worn in "The Cell."
    I love his work, all of it!
    Especially all the men holding the floor up, all united for a cause, that they may not even be aware of, yet still being a foundation for something unrecognizeable from their perspective, no choice of the lode they bear.

  5. Hi Britt,

    From what I read, he originally designed the jacket based on a jacket liner the USA military uses. Perhaps subconsciously it developed into a more Asian-like Emperor's Robe

  6. We saw the exhibit of the figures holding up the floor. It is very intriguing and very moving.

    Mark Plaia

  7. Thanks, RA. He's amazing. Connie

  8. Remembering our wonderful day at SAM. MAR