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Museum Exhibition

Mori Art Museum
Do Ho Suh + Po Po

July 25 – October 12, 2015

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Artist Bio

Do Ho Suh

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Whitewall

Winter 2015

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Artforum

January 28, 2017

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The Art Newspaper

November 30, 2016

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Artnet News

March 12, 2015

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Artforum

February 2015

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Time Out New York

October 16, 2014

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designboom

October 5, 2014

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Art in America

October 2014

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Time Out New York

September 25, 2014

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Artnet

September 14, 2014

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Art21

February 19, 2014

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Baccarat

December 2013

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The Wall Street Journal

November 6, 2013

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Art Asia Pacific

Nov/Dec 2013

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Modern Painters (Asia Edition)

November 2013

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Ocula

November 2013

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Artinfo

May 8, 2013

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Sculpture Magazine Personal Histories: Do Ho Suh

November 1, 2012

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Sculpture

November 2012

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The Los Angeles Times

June 16, 2012

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The San Diego Union-Tribune

June 1, 2012

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May 31, 2012

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Art Asia Pacific

April 30, 2012

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Wall Street Journal

April 24, 2012

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April 4, 2012

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Harper's Bazaar

March 31, 2012

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The Korea Times

March 27, 2012

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Designboom

January 27, 2012

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MSNBC

November 16, 2011

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ARTnews

October 31, 2011

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Art in America

October 31, 2011

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Riviera

October 31, 2011

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San Diego City Beat

October 19, 2011

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October 13, 2011

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Seattle Met

October 11, 2011

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Flavorwire

October 9, 2011

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Surface

September 30, 2011

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Elle Decor

September 30, 2011

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Public Art

September 30, 2011

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September 30, 2011

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Huffington Post

September 30, 2011

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Frame Magazine

September 30, 2011

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Voice of San Diego

September 28, 2011

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New York Magazine Review

September 26, 2011

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Fast Co. Design

September 26, 2011

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New York Magazine

September 20, 2011

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Art in America

September 15, 2011

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Time Out New York

September 8, 2011

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Tate Modern

August 31, 2011

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Designboom

August 16, 2011

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Time Out Hong Kong

May 25, 2011

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W Magazine

October 31, 2010

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Art + Auction

October 31, 2010

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Artforum

May 13, 2010

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International Herald Tribune

March 30, 2010

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The Houston Chronicle Online

November 19, 2009

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Art in America

November 17, 2009

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Los Angeles Times Culture Monster Blog

June 28, 2009

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Los Angeles Times

June 24, 2009

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Los Angeles Times

June 21, 2009

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Artdaily.org

May 18, 2009

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Surface Design Journal Winter 2009, Volume 33, No. 2

December 31, 2008

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Icon Issue 065

October 31, 2008

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ArtAsiaPacific

June 30, 2008

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ArtInfo

June 30, 2008

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Artforum

May 31, 2008

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The Guardian U.K.

May 28, 2008

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Art in America

March 1, 2008

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NYTimes

November 29, 2007

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Vogue Living

November 1, 2007

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Artforum

November 1, 2007

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Artforum

February 1, 2007

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Designboom.com

January 18, 2007

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Sculpture

December 1, 2005

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Tema Celeste

September 1, 2004

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Architectural Record

September 1, 2004

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Washington Post

April 25, 2004

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Galleria Soledad Lorenzo Catalog Text

January 27, 2004

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Art in America

November 1, 2003

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Interni

October 1, 2003

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Tema Celeste

September 1, 2003

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Art Asia Pacific

September 1, 2003

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Time Out New York

July 3, 2003

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July 2, 2003

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New York Sun

June 26, 2003

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Village Voice

June 23, 2003

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June 13, 2003

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Art AsiaPacific

March 1, 2003

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Tema Celeste

July 1, 2002

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Artforum

January 1, 2002

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Sculpture

October 1, 2001

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Tema Celeste

January 1, 2001

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Art in America

November 1, 2000

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New York Times

September 29, 2000

Tema Celeste


Do-Ho Suh: Space is a Metaphor for History
Interview with Priya Malhotra


Priya Malhotra: Your work directly explores the relationship between the individual and space—understood both as an intimate, personal environment and as an arena for social relationships. You use different dimensions of space to examine the interaction between the individual and the collective, creating tension-filled works born out of this mutual interdependence. Where does your great interest in physical space come from?

Do-Ho Suh: My artistic inquiry doesn’t only concern physical space, but metaphorical space too, which includes the history, culture, and memories we all carry with us. I came to the United States in my late twenties; it was my first major separation from my family and my country, Korea. My coming to America was both symbolic and dramatic. As a student, I moved every year to find a cheaper place to live. The moving experience was really disorienting and that’s when I started thinking about space in a more general sense. In America, the dimensions of personal space are very different from those in Korea. I grew up in a traditional Korean house where the walls were thin pieces of paper; neither transparent nor opaque, you could make out the shadows of those who lived there. There was no sense of privacy or personal space. But this was something I only came to realize after living away and gaining a more acute sense of distance.

Priya Malhotra: In 1997 you showed High School Uni-Form in Japan, an installation of around three hundred school uniforms sewn together, shoulder to shoulder: headless, legless bodies held erect on a steel frame. Images of mass destruction spring readily to mind, and the piece seems to suggest the negation of a person’s selfhood by oppressive powers. In what way does the oppression and annihilation represented by the uniforms form part of your discourse on the definition of space?

Do-Ho Suh: Clothing is the smallest most intimate thing we can inhabit, and subsequently the most intimate definition of our personal space. Of all forms of clothing, the uniform is certainly the most oppressive; its function is to control students, to stamp out all their differences. I wore uniforms right from kindergarten to the time I was in the military. The uniforms do have a double-edged function, though, which is almost protective if you don’t want to stand out, if you want to blend into the bigger picture.

Priya Malhotra: The walls surrounding High School Uni-Form were covered with thirty-seven thousand tiny photographs of Korean teenagers from your high school yearbooks. Even from a distance of just a few feet, you couldn’t make out the faces in the miniscule photographs; they just seemed to be a huge mass of indistinguishable dots. Your interest in the relationship between individual and collective obviously took on a new perspective: the anonymity that can be achieved through collective sameness, the possibility of just fading into a background. The title of the piece, Who Am We? is interesting because the grammatical disjunction between the first-person verb "am" and the plural pronoun we" underlines your discourse on the ambiguous relationship between crowd and individual.

Do-Ho Suh: I reduced the scale of the portraits as far as I could because I wanted to find out the exact point at which both the human eye and technology could identify individual traits. In the title I wanted to underline the distinction between singular and plural. In the Korean language, there is no such distinction.

Priya Malhotra: For your recent New York show, you constructed a glass floor, under which were packed around 180,000 tiny plastic figures of different sexes and races—each one five centimeters high. Their hands were turned upward, pressing against the glass; their faces contorted as though suffering from claustrophobia. Seen from a distance, the figures blended into one anonymous entity.

Do-Ho Suh: A tiny plastic figure is very fragile, but a huge number together have a significant weight. It’s collective power. In my work I explore precisely that ambiguity of the "herd": the sense of protection and strength on the one hand, the loss of individuality on the other.

Priya Malhotra: In the Western world, mankind has been of primary importance since the Renaissance. Michelangelo depicted the glories of the human form, exulting in the splendor of skin, muscle, and sinew. In total contrast to this Renaissance glorification of the human form, your tiny plastic figures come across as self-effacing, half-drowning in the vast space of the gallery.

Do-Ho Suh: I wanted to create a contrast between spectator and figures, and make the work blend into the existing architecture. In Korea we refer to men as grains of sand, which is a far cry from humanistic philosophical vision.

Priya Malhotra: Seoul Home/LA. Home/New York Home is a silk house that hangs down from the ceiling. In it, space takes on quite different characteristics from your previous work. It has a fluid, free flowing quality to it, as if it might fly away at any minute. The house is ordinarily considered the ultimate form of protective, intimate space, but you show it to be something transitory and without roots.

Do-Ho Suh: It evolved from my desire to take the space where I grew up in Korea with me wherever I went. I measured the little house where I was born, and where my parents still live, in Korea and made a silk one to those exact same measurements. The project was carried out for an exhibit at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles. On a wall in a room on the first floor of the center, I found a photograph of a civilian-style house built for the king of Korea during the eighteenth century. He had commanded it to be built in order to experience how ordinary people lived. About 150 years later, my father used wood he had recovered from the dismantling of the royal house to build his own house, as an exact replica. I thought it was very interesting that there was a direct physical relationship between the king’s house and my father’s house. Finding the photograph was a total coincidence, but it made the place a very interesting site for my project.

Priya Malhotra: Where does the title of the piece, Seoul Home/L.A. Home/New York Home, come from?

Do-Ho Suh: I made the house in my home in Seoul, then moved it to Los Angeles, so the Seoul Home became Seoul Home/L.A. Home. It was later taken to New York and became Seoul Home/L.A. Home/New York Home. Making this piece was an active gesture to overcome a sense of longing, separation, and nostalgia. Every time I show it somewhere new, its title will get longer. It’s like a suitcase—you keep adding something to it every time you travel.

Do-Ho Suh was born in 1962 in Seoul, Korea. He lives and works in New York.