Do Ho Suh turns everyday household appliances, elements of interior design and architecture into sheer fabric replicas. Using traditional Korean sewing techniques combined with 3D modeling techniques, he reimagines aspects of his childhood home and apartments he’s lived in with lightweight memories.
Each item in the exhibition is one solid yet opaque color, such as a bright orange or an electric blue. The framework and interior of the objects are visible, creating different shades of the same color throughout it. Aside from provocative visual imagery, the artist explains the use of fabric in his work.
He sees a connection between architecture and clothing, which he describes as “the smallest, most inhabitable space that you can actually carry.” He goes on to say, “After living in my apartment for some time, I realized that it gave me a sense of protection that was quite physical. It became a kind of skin, and I felt comfortable that I was almost not even aware of the space around me anymore.”
The items hold a certain nostalgia and significance far extending beyond ordinary objects. Additionally, the simple objects such as a boiler room, a stove, a toilet, a lightswitch, etc., could quite easily be found in practically any home or apartment – taking the observer into another place in time, a memory of a former dwelling of their own or even their current place of residence.
Although Do Ho Suh has created many full scale replicas of different, former residences, the Specimens series is primarily of his one-time apartment on West 22nd Street in New York. They are made of sheer polyester and mounted in vitrines like specimens for the museum display. The LED lighting transforms them into a luminous veil, floating like phantoms but more vivid than the memory of them.