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Frist Art Museum opens exhibition of architectural sculptures by artist Do Ho Suh
Do Ho Suh. Exit Series: Light Bulbs, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA, 2016. Polyester fabric, stainless steel wire, and glass display case with LEDs, 31 3/4 x 57 7/8 x 6 1/4 in. Private collection. © Do Ho Suh.

NASHVILLE, TENN.- The Frist Art Museum presents Do Ho Suh: Specimens, an exhibition of astonishingly detailed sculptures, installations, and drawings that poetically reflect on the meanings and messages contained in domestic spaces, both real and imagined. The exhibition is on view in the Frist’s Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery from October 12, 2018, through January 6, 2019.

Having lived in Seoul, New York, London, and Berlin, Do Ho Suh (b. 1962, Seoul) is particularly 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.

“In these works, Suh effectively questions and examines dualities,” says Frist Art Museum chief curator Mark Scala. “Interior and exterior are no longer distinct, ideas emerge from materials, and boundaries between physical substance and impermanence are relaxed.”

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 home of eighteen years, 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.

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.

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