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"Rubbing / Loving"Do Ho Suh

December 9, 2016

Artist Do Ho Suh makes one final artwork in the New York apartment that was his home and studio for eighteen years. Suh covered every surface in the apartment with white paper which he then rubbed with colored pencil to reveal and preserve all of the space’s memory-provoking details. “My energy has been accumulated and in a way I think my rubbing shows that,” says Suh. “I’m trying to show the layers of time.”

Suh’s landlord, who was initially hesitant to rent to a young artist, became a close friend and supported him in making earlier fabric works about the apartment. Before passing away, the landlord gave Suh permission to make this final work: Rubbing/Loving. It serves as a transportable testament to the home’s emotional importance to Suh and the owner’s family.

“I try to understand my life as a movement through different spaces,” says Suh, who was born in South Korea, studied in Rhode Island and Connecticut and now lives in London.

More information and credits


Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Nick Ravich. Editor: Morgan Riles. Camera: Mason Cash, Ian Forster, Semir Hot & Rafael Salazar. Sound: Ava Wiland. Music: Pinch Music. Artwork Courtesy: Do Ho Suh, Lehmann Maupin Gallery & Victoria Miro Gallery. Special Thanks: The Henoch Family.

Art21 Exclusive is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; 21c Museum Hotel, and by individual contributors.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Do Ho Suh

Best known for his intricate sculptures that defy conventional notions of scale and site-specificity, Do Ho 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. 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.

“I try to understand my life as a movement through different spaces.”

Do Ho Suh


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“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.