Do Ho Suh

Do Ho Suh was born in Seoul, Korea, in 1962. After earning his BFA and MFA in Oriental Painting from Seoul National University, and fulfilling his term of mandatory service in the South Korean military, Suh relocated to the United States to continue his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and Yale University. Best known for his intricate sculptures that defy conventional notions of scale and site-specificity, Suh draws attention to the ways viewers occupy and inhabit public space. In several of the artist’s floor sculptures, viewers are encouraged to walk on surfaces composed of thousands of miniature human figures.

In Some/One, the floor of the gallery is blanketed with polished military dog tags. Evocative of the way an individual soldier is part of a larger troop or military body, these dog tags swell to form a hollow, ghost-like suit of armor at the center of the room. Whether addressing the dynamic of personal space versus public space, or exploring the fine line between strength in numbers and homogeneity, Suh’s sculptures continually question the identity of the individual in today’s increasingly transnational, global society.

Do Ho Suh represented Korea at the 2001 Venice Biennale. A retrospective of the artist’s work was held jointly at Seattle Art Museum and Seattle Asian Art Museum in 2002. Major exhibitions of Suh’s work have also been held at Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris (2001); Serpentine Gallery, London (2002); and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri (2002–03).

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A weekly digest of things to watch, read, and hear from the comforts of your home, selected by Art21-featured artists and Art21 staff.

Conversation Starter

What details make a home?

Like all people, artists grapple with the definition and memory of home.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching with Love and Loss

Art21 Educator, Ty Talbot, shares a playlist of films that explore notions of love and loss that he curated for his high school classroom.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

To Evoke Emotion

Art21 Educator Dennis Greenwell shares a classroom exercise to encourage students to embrace their emotional reactions to works of art, inspired by a visit to a Do Ho Suh installation.

Interview

“Seoul Home/L.A. Home”—Korea and Displacement

Do Ho Suh discusses the role of place in his work, and his 1999 installation piece Seoul Home/L.A. Home/New York Home/Baltimore Home/London Home/Seattle Home.

Interview

“Some/One” and the Korean Military

Do Ho Suh discusses his time in the Korean military, and how it informed his 2001 sculptural installation Some/One.