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Born in 1962 in Seoul, Korea

Born and educated in Korea, the New York based artist, Do-Hu Suh, uses architectural elements and references in his art in order to reflect identity and (his own) biography onto our postmodern, globalized world. This explains, for example, the ‘life-sized’ staircase in the exhibition space. Built entirely from sewn, red polyester and covered entirely by an equally red curtain, “Staircase” (2003) initially evokes a kind of Korean architecture from the artist’s homeland. Actually, however, the work is an exact reproduction of the staircase leading to Suh’s apartment in New York. Much like in a dream, the boarders of time and space, different cultures and styles become indistinct to create an unanticipated incidence of a trans-cultural life “between worlds”.

On the other hand, the problematic relationship between individuality and (collective) society is addressed in Do-Hu Suh’s early work, “Who Am We?” (1996-2000). In an otherwise empty room, the artist installed a wallpaper he designed where, if you look closely, you can recognize photographs of faces – 37,000 portraits that Do-Hu Suh collected from his high-school yearbooks, to be exact. The artists own biography and the overwhelming masses of anonymous faces collide in this installation.

A newer work, “Fallen Star 1/5” (2008) also employs autobiographical elements. Skulptural Models of two houses are built to a scale of 1:5 – his parents’ house in Korea, and the noticeably larger American apartment building that contains the first apartment Do-Hu Suh moved into in the US. As if the model of the Korean house had been flown into the apartment building, it hangs there from the damaged façade. The backside of the apartment building model is cut open and exposed – much like Gordon Matta-Clark’s “Cuttings” – so that the viewer and peer inside like into a dollhouse. “Fallen Star 1/5” is a concrete metaphor for the kind of ‘crash of cultures’ that characterizes the artist’s life. The artist is also planning a life-size realization of this work.

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