Posts tagged with "Do Ho Suh":

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Facade fragment of Robin Hood Gardens will be shown at Venice Biennale

Few buildings are as quintessentially British and Brutalist as Robin Hood Gardens, a London housing estate designed by Alison and Peter Smithson in the late 1960s. And now, remnants of the complex are heading to Italy, where the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) will present a facade section of the demolished icon as part of the Venice Biennale. (It's actually a return to Venice for the late architects, who displayed billboard-sized images of the under-construction buildings at the Biennale in 1976.) The Robin Hood Gardens housing block has never been far from the center of the debate of social housing since the Smithsons first unveiled plans for a concrete mass of residences linked by "streets in the sky." And now that it's being demolished to make way for a new development—all while cities around the globe struggle to house growing populations—that controversy is more in the news than ever. Though Peter Smithson himself expressed his regrets about the failures of the design, Robin Hood Gardens found a legion of supporters, if not strictly for its Brutalist design, then for its place within the conversation about urbanism. In fact, an all-star lineup of contemporary architects including Richard Rogers, Robert Venturi, Toyo Ito, and the late Zaha Hadid, came together to protest the buildings' demolition. When it became clear that plans would move forward, the V&A stepped in—on the urging of London firm Muf architecture/art—to acquire a nearly 29-foot high by 18-foot-wide by 26-foot-deep cross-section of the housing complex. The museum will be presenting a fragment from the estate at the Pavilion of Applied Arts in the Sale d’Armi in the Arsenale, from May 26 to November 25, 2018.   The  segment will be displayed on a scaffolding system designed by Arup, the firm that engineered the original Robin Hood Gardens, while a film by artist Do Ho Suh will document the structure. Additional documents and interviews will give context to the social history of the complex. ‘The case of Robin Hood Gardens is arresting because it embodied such a bold vision for housing provision yet less than 50 years after its completion, it is being torn down," said pavilion curators Christopher Turner and Olivia Horsfall Turner in a joint statement. "Out of the ruins of Robin Hood Gardens, we want to look again at the Smithsons’ original ideals and ask how they can inform and inspire current thinking about social housing."
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Do Ho Suh recreates his NYC apartment and studio in fabric for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

The eponymous Do Ho Suh exhibition is currently on show at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison, Wisconsin. The multi-part installation show explores large form architectural fabric sculptures, documentary films, illuminated sculptures, and works on paper. The centerpiece of the show is a full-scale replica of the South Korean artist’s New York City apartment and studio made completely from translucent colored fabric. Other pieces include selections from Suh’s Specimen Series, comprising of typical domestic appliances reproduced in diaphanous fabric, and displayed in lit plexiglass boxes. Visitors can also view Suh’s 2012 Secret Garden–1, a 1:16 scale model and animation of Suh’s Korean home mounted on the back of a flatbed truck. Do Ho Suh is organized by The Contemporary Austin with additional support by Lehmann Maupin Gallery.

Do Ho Suh Madison Museum of Contemporary Art 227 State Street, Madison, Wisconsin Through May 14, 2017

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Do Ho Suh’s ethereal art at the Cincinnati CAC

Walking the streets of downtown Cincinnati, it is easy to miss Zaha Hadid’s Contemporary Arts Center (CAC)—especially to those on the lookout for the free-flowing parametrically derived forms. The CAC is something different. Boxy and monolithic, its gallery volumes give way to a generous interior lobby that is surprisingly porous. Views up through the six floors of galleries are pierced by a continuous thread of stair runs. It was here in the lobby that an inspired Do Ho Suh met with curator Steven Matijcio, embarking on a two-year journey that has led to Passage, a landmark survey of the Korean artist’s work.

Suh’s work is a deeply personal exploration, mapping identity, memory, and his reflections on the idea of home. The artist—living transnationally among Seoul, New York, and London—produces work that strides between the intimate space of the individual and collective networks that bind us together. Passage contains a remarkable range of media: Six new pieces are dispersed alongside drawings, videos, architectural models, and Suh’s iconic, highly detailed “transportable fabric” sculptures.

While it is easy to become seduced by the quality of objects resulting from various mapping techniques aimed at documenting abstract memories and emotions, the most compelling aspect of the exhibition is not Suh’s artwork. Rather, it is the ways in which Suh’s virtually constructed spaces seem to haunt Hadid’s architecture. Traversing the galleries through a continuous staircase system allows Suh to take the visitor on a path through his personal history. Ghostlike forms float in the background behind the CAC’s powerful massing. Suh’s videos mutate from a solitary screen along a vast gallery wall to an immersive projection, which literally envelops the viewer. At the terminus to the exhibit, a dead-end corridor invites potentially lost visitors to reflect on their understanding of home. 

A significant example of the dialogue between Suh and Hadid is how Suh’s fabric sculpture Reflection is revealed to visitors. We first stumble upon the sculpture almost accidentally. Turning a corner, a blue archway modeled after Suh’s childhood home hangs upside-down overhead—its ornate roof tiling and decorative wall patterning conveniently at eye level. A fabric ground plane conceals the remainder of the sculpture, which is revealed only upon leaving the gallery. Here, we finally see the entirety of the piece. A doubling of the image consumes nearly the entire volume of the gallery below. A changing of perspective, enabled by Hadid’s architecture, reveals new views into Suh’s world. Continuing to exit the galleries, one must walk through the hallway of Suh’s New York stairwell, as if leaving his apartment before continuing down Hadid’s stairwell. Suh’s works in these cases have been carefully arranged to heighten the reveal through a careful juxtaposition within Hadid’s circulation system. Walking through the CAC is temporarily no longer about experiencing Hadid’s space, it is about experiencing Suh’s.

Another key moment occurs on the upper floor where limitless virtual space is explored. The stair, leading to the upper level of the exhibition, begins in a dark space enclosed in fabric where models of vernacular houses from Suh’s life have been grafted into foreign contexts. Exiting the room, the viewer is presented with a series of multicolored fabric rooms, becoming narrower and narrower, until dead-ending in a video area where a camera steadily moves, drone-like, through the streets of Korea. A sense of discomfort arises. First presented with loose hand drawings, Suh’s work has a mechanistically precise quality deeper into the exhibition. When this initial fuzziness gives way to precision, our senses heighten as we try to process the details. It’s as if Suh’s memories are becoming clearer as we proceed—or as if the separation between virtual and physical is not so distinct.

At times, Suh’s work feels uneasy and foreign in Hadid’s building, while at other points along his “passage,” the work feels strangely made for her space: “magically site-specific” in the words of Matijcio. Perhaps this is a result of aesthetic differences in their projects. Suh’s use of color as an organizational strategy—a mapping tool to communicate geographical information—activates Hadid’s muted museum palette. Hadid’s broad, sweeping architectural gestures play nicely with Suh’s borderline obsessive attention to detail. Both are motivated by a utopian ideal: The museum as a central meeting place open to the city, and the search for humanity’s deeper collective unity.

Compelling art exhibitions are able to ground the viewer and offer an immersive engagement with the subject matter, while allowing space for moments of self-reflection and imagination. This is where Passage succeeds. By pairing Suh’s work with the fundamental diagram of the building, Hadid’s CAC has been suddenly activated and transformed. The dialogue produced by these two architectures—one embedded into the city, the other momentary and fleeting elevates both the work of the architect and the work of the artist to an excitingly synergistic level. When it all comes down on September 11, 2016, perhaps the real question will be how Hadid’s galleries will feel once the nebulous images of Suh’s past have vanished.

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Is That A House On Top Of Your Building?

At first glance, visitors might think that the house from Disney’s Up managed to crash land atop UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering building. What they’re actually staring at, however, is Korean artist Do Ho Suh’s latest installation, Fallen Star, a 15-by-18-foot New England cottage suspended off the edge of the seven-story Jacobs building at a disconcerting 10-degree tilt from the building’s flat roof.  Suh said that the installation recalls his own experience of moving to the U.S. to study at the Rhode Island School of Design. He felt “as if he was dropped from the sky.” Opened to the public on June 7th, seven years after the artist’s initial sketch, the home has a garden, plum trees, wisteria vines, tomatoes, and more. Inside, the white-trimmed blue cottage (its interior floor set on a gentler five degree tilt)  is furnished with a living room set, bookcase, and even a chimney that blows off steam to simulate smoke. Picture frames display baby pictures of former Jacobs School of Engineering deans. Except for the chandelier, which hangs plumb due to gravity, everything is slightly askew, just as the artist envisioned. Fallen Star was built in the Fall of 2011 and hoisted onto Jacobs Hall on November 15. Despite its unusual siting, the home didn't escape from building regulators' grasp. It adheres to California’s earthquake building codes and can withstand 100 mph winds. The project is the 18th installation of UCSD's Stuart Collection, which engages international artists to create site-specific work on campus. The $1.3 million budget for the project came from private donations except for a $90,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant. Fallen Star is open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.