Living between New York and his native Seoul in a permanent state of migration, Do Ho Suh moves among cultures that have different views of individual and collective identity, fueling his interests in themes of identification, suspended illusion, and the fabric of memory. In his sculpture Some/One, thousands of dog tags representing individual soldiers combine to create a larger-than-life suit of armor, an arresting totem that suggests power composed of the many. But closer inspection reveals the dog tags to be fictional, each “name” a nonsensical string of characters. The mirrored surface inside the sculpture reflects the ambiguity of the individual’s relationship to the piece: When we see ourselves enrobed in the garment, are we secure in its embrace, or are we complicit in the illusion of security?
- Installation Views
Do Ho Suh received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Seoul National University, studied at Yale University and the Rhode Island School of Design, and is the son of an influential Korean painter. His inventive sculptures and installations compel double-takes and demand close inspection, and they have earned him placement in the collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Tate Modern, and Tokyo’s Museum of Contemporary Art.