Space and place in the work of Do Ho Suh

 

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Do Ho Suh: Karma sculpture

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Do Ho Suh working on his Rubbing/Loving project

From work on paper and video to sculpture and immersive installation, the notion of karma is the title and subject of many works by Korean artist Do Ho Suh.

At the start of 2016, I was most fortunate to visit Singapore’s STPI on the last day of the exhibition, Do Ho Suh: New works.

This visit coincided with an important turning point in thinking about my own work, and in many ways came as a revelation to me, particularly with Do Ho Suh’s focus on the concept of karma and the notion of a global citizen with a mobile home: themes of space, place, home, karma, and the connection between the individual and the group across global cultures.

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Do Ho Suh: home and karma based thread drawings

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Do Ho Suh: Karma thread drawing

Born in Seoul in 1962, Do Ho Suh moved from his native South Korea, to study and live in New York and Paris, before moving to London, where he is now based.

Influenced by his peripatetic existence, an enduring theme of the artist’s practice is the connection between the individual and the group across global cultures.

His own feelings of loss of personal connected space, the sense of “home” and lack of centre, is obvious in his beautifully imagined and created sculptures and installations, as well as his many works on paper and video.

Suh’s Rubbing/Loving Project, as with much of his work, deals with the notion of home and homesickness; indeed, he explicitly asks what is this very notion of home and how can a person carry their home with them.

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Do Ho Suh: Rubbing/Loving project

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Do Ho Suh: Rubbing/Loving project

Do Ho Suh’s works explore the myriad of feelings associated with the immigrant experience: being dislocated, attempting to understand unfamiliar surrounding striving to create a new home.

The recent Victoria Miro exhibition, Do Ho Suh: Passages, showed some of the work Suh is perhaps most famous for: his one-to-one life-scale fabric representations of his homes.

Continuing the work of his Rubbing/Loving Project, these are at once beautiful and poignant reminders of how we all carry home or homes within us, and perhaps how we would like to carry all our homes were it possible to roll or fold them to carry with us to the next place.

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Do Ho Suh

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Do Ho Suh: Home

The multiplicity of individuality is tested through meditative processes of repetition: whether interlinked along a lattice of fishing nets, amassed into monumental tornado-like forms, absent from ranks of empty uniforms, or present in every yearbook photo taken at the artist’s high school over 60 years, the artist uses the reproduced human figure to explore sensitively, and with spectacular formal effect, the ways in which personal space inherently extends into the collective sphere.

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Do Ho Suh

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Do Ho Suh: Running man

The human figure often dominates in Suh’s work: his drawings are filled with abundant references to himself and others; some are kinds of self-portraits – what he calls, “a contemplation of myself” – but he is not only looking inward at himself, but also outward: his sense of inter-connectedness with others of familial relationships in the present but also the past and future.

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Do Ho Suh: Floor

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Do Ho Suh: Floor detail

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Do Ho Suh: Karma

Though much of Do Ho Suh’s work is autobiographical: his pieces are highly informed by his personal experiences of home and migration, and the search for anchor points; this longing for home is the core of any person’s identity.

The work of Do Hu Suh raises questions that pertain to each of us in the universal human experience.

I await the Whitechapel’s July 2017 Art Night, which features Do Ho Suh, with great anticipation.

 

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Do Ho Suh: Karma juggler

Further reading

 

 

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First year MA student’s Interim display at the Camberwell College of Arts Postgraduate Summer Show 2016

UAL_MAVA_CCA_PGshow2016As the summer heats up (well, we can hope) the graduate and post-graduate shows are happening all over the country. If you want to be amongst the first to see the most exciting new talent emerge, pop-in to see the  University of the Arts London’s (UAL) freshest graduates open up their work to the public. Visit the UAL summer shows – a series of free art, design, fashion, communication and performance exhibitions taking place across London.

Of particular personal interest are the up and coming artists and designers of tomorrow at the Camberwell College of Arts Post-graduate Summer Show, featuring work by graduating students from the MA Visual Arts courses:

Sharon Low is in the first year of the MA Visual Arts in Printmaking at the Camberwell College of Arts. MA Book Arts and MA Printmaking first year students are putting together an “interim display”, to give visitors a taster of the MA projects they are each concerned with.

The Private View is on Thursday 14 July 2016, from 6pm – 9pm.

The show is then open to the general public:

Friday 15 July – 10am – 8pm
Saturday 16 July – 11am – 5pm
Sunday 17 July – Closed
Monday 18 July – 10am – 8pm
Tuesday 19 July – 10am – 8pm
Wednesday 20 July- 10am – 8pm

Visit the UAL website for more information.

 

 

 

Lego Reimagined in the RA galleries Sunday 13 April 2014

Lego Reimagined in the RA galleries Sunday 13 April 2014

Sadly all the children in my life are far away this weekend, otherwise I’d be taking them along to the RA galleries for a “Lego workshop like no other”: who wouldn’t want the chance to create their own “sensational Lego® fairy-tale building” or some other wonderful plastic-block creation?

Drop me a line if you do get to go along to this wonderful event, I’d love to hear about what you got up to, and of course see the pictures of your wonderful Lego creations!

Sunday 13 April 2014
11.00 — 14.00
Royal Academy of Arts
Free drop-in workshop, no booking required
https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/event/72

 

Master printmaker Norman Stevens at the Royal Academy

Norman Stevens ARA Painswick, Moonlight 1979 - Etching and aquatint Private collection © Estate of the artist - from the RA website https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/16

Norman Stevens ARA Painswick, Moonlight 1979 – Etching and aquatint Private collection © Estate of the artist – from the RA website https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/16

I’m looking forward to catching the RA exhibition of the works of the much admired Norman Stevens ARA, who originally trained as a painter alongside John Loker, David Hockney RA and David Oxtoby in the 1950s at Bradford College of Art. The exhibition features works from Stevens’ first black and white etchings to the large-scale prints he made in in the 1980s.

Norman Stevens ARA Levens Hall Garden 1985 - Screenprint Private collection © Estate of the artist from the RA website https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/16

Norman Stevens ARA Levens Hall Garden 1985 – Screenprint Private collection © Estate of the artist, from the RA website https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/16

Described on the RA website as “a master of the medium”, Stevens is a self-taught printmaker, and found in this work “an art form that perfectly suited his meticulous and subtle approach.”

Stevens’ prints “make use of colour, light and shade to powerful and often haunting effect” as he explores the built environment and landscape.

Indeed, the art critic, William Packer, likens Stevens’ work to a “game of hide-and-seek with the real world”, where “”human presence is always suggested but never shown.”

 

 

 

Norman Stevens ARA Morning 1973 - etching, aquatint and mezzotint Private collection © Estate of the artist, from the RA website https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/16

Norman Stevens ARA Morning 1973 – etching, aquatint and mezzotint Private collection © Estate of the artist, from the RA website https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/16

I’m looking forward to seeing “in the flesh” the prints that the RA describes as “at the heart of the exhibition” – the important groups of prints which include his depictions of Venetian blinds and ‘clapboard’ houses, as well as his “distinctive images of Stonehenge and his captivating views of English formal gardens.”

I can’t wait to discover  more about the work of this artist who developed, over the course of his career, “an international reputation for his technically brilliant and beguiling prints.”

The Norman Stevens ARA exhibition is on at the RA now and runs until May 25.

Read the RA article about the Norman Stevens exhibition https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/16

Perfumes inspired by imaginary authors and books

Perfumer Josh Meyer has teamed up with artist Ashod Simonian to create the perfume collection, ‘Imaginary Authors’, that is packed with personality.

Perfumer Josh Meyer has teamed up with artist Ashod Simonian to create the perfume collection, ‘Imaginary Authors’, that is packed with personality.

Amanda Mok in her article on designtaxi.com showcases perfumer Josh Meyer’s and artist Ashod Simonian’s joint project to create the perfume collection, ‘Imaginary Authors’, that is “packed with personality”.

I find this work, and the story behind it, fun and quirky.

Apparently Meyer based each scent on a fictitious author he thought up, with accompanying stories of their lives and personalities. One such example is ‘The Soft Lawn’: “written by ‘Claude LeCoq’ while he was “attending Princeton University” which “has notes of ivy leaves, fresh tennis balls and clay court.”

Mok further notes that Simonian’s:

“charming old-school collages… as the bottle labels… were custom-made… to fit the personality of the authors and their inspired scents.”

Take a look at Amanda Mok’s article:
http://designtaxi.com/news/364700/Perfumes-Inspired-By-Authors-Books-Housed-In-Charming-Old-School-Bottles/

Mayor of London to investigate rising costs of artist studio space

artist-studio“There’s a lot of concern that London is changing and artists are being forced to move to new areas… artists are pioneers of regeneration because they go where others don’t. But they’re also the victims as they then get priced out.” – Munira Mirza, deputy mayor for education and culture in London

In an article in The Independent, City Hall flagged up the importance of the issue of the shortage of affordable studio space in the capital in a report published in 2010, but further investigation was shelved as preparations for the Olympics intensified.

The issue is now back on the agenda in an investigation by the Mayor of London, amid growing evidence that artists are being driven out by rising rents and redevelopment.

The development comes after it emerged that a former biscuit factory in Bermondsey, which hosts close to 400 artists, had been sold and will be converted into 800 flats.

This seems to be a consistent pattern, where run-down areas are affordable for artists, but as the area becomes “arty” and “trendy”, the prices go up with the following “gentrification” and artists are priced out and forced to move.

Read the article in The Independent  http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/mayor-to-investigate-as-artists-fear-being-driven-out-of-london-by-rising-costs-of-studio-space-9120150.html