In 1957, the Bauhaus weaver Anni Albers penned The Pliable Plane: Textiles in Architecture in which she wrote, ‘From the first shelter of hides to the latest tent for camping in peace as in war, the idea of a transportable, and therefore lightweight house has remained essentially the same. Wherever provisional quarters have to be built speedily and independent of local material, the textile house, the tent, is the answer because of the inherent characteristics of cloth that one might call its nomadic nature …’
Sculptor Do-Ho Suh’s works epitomise Albers’ reflections on the nomadic nature of the textile. Together, the works present a precise and highly transportable replica of all of the places he has ever lived, complete with details such as radiator knobs and fuse box lid rendered in nylon and thread.
Born in South Korea Do-Ho moved to America in 1993. Although his drawing-like installations may relate directly to his own past homes, behind the immediate subject matter is a broader exploration into migration and the values and legacies of places more generally. The Contemporary Arts Centre in Cincinnati is presenting a number of Do-Ho’s hallucinatory installations, with a particular focus on how these pieces function as metaphors for the struggles to formulate notions of settlement.
This is in part an extract from Jessica Hemmings' article in the launch issue of Selvedge.
Do Ho Suh – Passage