NASHVILLE, Tenn. – “Do Ho Suh: Specimens,” an exhibition of detailed sculptures, installations and drawings that poetically reflect on the meanings and messages contained real and imagined spaces, is on display Oct. 12-Jan. 6, 2019 in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery at the Frist Art Museum.
Having lived in Seoul, New York, London, and Berlin, Do Ho Suh (b. 1962, Seoul) is 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.
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, 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.
Organized by the Frist Art Museum
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 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 Art Museum, 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 Biennale, 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.
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, Tenn., 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 www.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. Groups of 10 or more can receive discounts with advance reservations by calling 615.744.3247. 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 www.FristArtMuseum.org.
Ellen Jones Pryor