The Frist Art Museum presents Do Ho Suh: Specimens, an exhibition of astonishingly detailed sculptures, installations, and drawings that poetically reflect on the meanings and messages contained in domestic spaces, both real and imagined. The exhibition will be on view from October 12, 2018, through January 6, 2019.
Having lived in Seoul, New York, London, and Berlin, Do Ho Suh (b. 1962, Seoul) is particularly interested in the subjects of home, belonging, and identity. Works in this exhibition related to the idea of home document an emotional history of interaction between domestic architecture and the body, while linking the artist’s personal experience of dislocation to a broader reflection on migration in the 21st century.
To create his sculptures, Suh combines traditional Korean sewing techniques with 21st-century 3-D modeling technologies to transform the source’s original functions into meditations on memory and time. The centerpiece of this exhibition is the Specimen series, which explores detailed replicas of objects relating to Suh’s domestic existence, such as common household appliances, fixtures, and furnishings taken from his living spaces and recreated in sheer polyester fabric. By isolating these objects, he invites the viewer to reflect on their everyday interaction with the seemingly mundane.
“In these works, Suh effectively questions and examines dualities,” says Frist Art Museum chief curator Mark Scala who organized the exhibition. “Interior and exterior are no longer distinct, ideas emerge from materials, and boundaries between physical substance and impermanence are relaxed.”
The exhibition is composed of three series of works. The Specimen series includes depictions of appliances and fixtures from Suh’s apartment on West 22nd Street in New York, which are mounted and eerily illuminated in vitrines like treasured objects in a museum display. The more modest recreations in the Exit series—light bulbs, an inspection certificate, an intercom—exalt the commonplace in the tradition of still-life painting, suggesting that beauty can be found in the most miniscule aspects of daily life. When forced to leave his New York apartment home of eighteen years, Suh began his Rubbing/Loving series, a ritual farewell and memorialization that involved a process similar to headstone rubbing to precisely capture all surface nuance and detail. Over two years, he completely covered the apartment in paper and with colored pencils and then later pastels, rubbed every inch of it so thoroughly and intensely that his fingertips became worn and raw, leaving bits of skin on the paper.
About the artist
Do Ho Suh (b. 1962, Seoul) earned a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in sculpture from Yale University. He has had exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution; the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; ARoS, Aarhus, Denmark; Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden; the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea; and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan. He was Korea’s representative at the Venice Biennale in 2001, and participated in the 2010 and 2018 Venice Architecture Biennales, the 2010 Liverpool Biennial, and the 2012 Gwangju Biennial. Works by Do Ho Suh are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate, London; Leeum, Seoul; Artsonje Center, Seoul; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. The artist lives and works in New York, London, and Seoul.
Organized by the Frist Art Museum
Artist’s Perspective: Do Ho Suh
Thursday, October 18
Frist Art Museum Auditorium
Free; first come, first seated
In this talk, Suh will provide insights into his artistic practice, as well as discuss the influences of home, and his displacement from home, on his work.
The Frist Art Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Friends of Contemporary Art.
This exhibition is supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
About the Frist Art Museum
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Frist Art Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit art exhibition center dedicated to presenting and originating high-quality exhibitions with related educational programs and community outreach activities. Located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, TN, the Frist Art Museum offers the finest visual art from local, regional, national, and international sources in exhibitions that inspire people through art to look at their world in new ways. The Frist Art Museum’s newly renovated Martin ArtQuest Gallery features interactive stations relating to Frist Art Museum exhibitions. Information on accessibility can be found at FristArtMuseum.org/accessibility. Gallery admission is free for visitors 18 and younger and for members; $12 for adults; $9 for seniors and college students with ID; and $7 for active military. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings (with the exception of Frist Fridays), 5:00–9:00 p.m. The galleries, café, and gift shop are open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; and Sundays, 1:00–5:30 p.m., with the café opening at noon. For additional information, call 615.244.3340 or visit FristArtMuseum.org.