Do Ho Suh’s Fabric Installations Show That Home Is Wherever You Sew It

Published March 26, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014

Traveling through the major modern metropolises of our world, Korean artist Do Ho Suh has recreated his own heart’s keeper in the form of silk-constructed homes. Representing memories of his prior residences, the colorful installations span all the way from Suh’s childhood to his adult life. Suspended from the ceilings of museums and art galleries, his works bring the concept of “carrying a space in a suitcase” to life.

Do Ho Suh’s most impressive artwork to date, the lengthily titled ‘Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home’, stands at a staggering 12 x 15 meters as a towering translucent replica of his first solo home in Rhode Island. Lovingly stitched and sewn together, there’s a little more to the silk sculpture than first meets the eye. Take a stroll inside the entrance hall and you’ll find Suh’s childhood home suspended in the center.

Evoking the emotions that grow and ensconce themselves within four walls, the installation featured at MMCA Seoul stands at 1:1 scale – a feat made possible by 3D scanning and hundreds of hours work. It’s just the latest in a long line of projects which seek to explore the concept of personal space and our inexplicable desire to remember our deep yet—as the sheer fabric conveys—fleeting roots.

Well versed in the art of traditional painting, Do Ho Suh packed up his paintbrushes after graduating from Seoul National University and sought out sculpting in the States, where he relocated to New York and began stitching and sewing his own homes. Transitioning from one country to another wasn’t easy for the artist, particularly as a minority. In fact, the cultural dissonance between his homeland and the USA inspired many of his early works, including his foldable fabric ‘Seoul Home / LA Home’ project.

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