Do Ho Suh, Screen, 2005. ABS and stainless steel.
In this exhibition, artist Do Ho Suh uses a chandelier, wallpaper, and a decorative screen to focus attention on issues of migration and transnational identity. Using repetition, uniformity, and shifts in scale, Suh questions cultural and aesthetic differences between his native Korea and his adopted homes in the United States and Europe. The wallpaper Who Am We? (Multi) (2000) is made up of miniaturized yearbook portraits of the artist’s high school classmates, a nostalgic gesture that points both to the social connections of childhood and an immigrant’s estrangement from peers. While screens often decorate and divide Korean interiors, the many small figures that comprise Screen (2005) are used to examine opacity and transparency, division and connection, privacy and togetherness. The chandelier Cause and Effect (2007), composed of many figures appearing to rise from the shoulders of the single figure at bottom, playfully suggests that no matter where we travel, we carry the weight of our pasts on our shoulders.
(© Do Ho Suh. Photo courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.)