Silk and stainless steel tubes, Artist Proof 1 of 1
326.5 × 211.5 × 100 cm
Suh’s works are a meditation on home and belonging. His celebrated fabric installations are architectural compositions of once-inhabited spaces, their diaphanous quality suggesting lightness as well as malleability, reflecting a desire to make ‘home’ transportable. These ethereal structures are identity and memory made manifest; often, they are also ‘ghosts’ of places that have ceased to be. Gate is modelled on a gate at the artist’s family home in Korea, itself constructed after a traditional scholar’s house built in the nineteenth century, and made with discarded wood from demolished palaces and other historical buildings. These buildings, which had survived the wars and turmoil of previous years, were torn down at a time when Korea witnessed rapid modernisation – a phenomenon familiar to many throughout Asia and Southeast Asia. Gate is a poignant and personal memory of home; it is also a collective statement about dislocation and transformation in contemporary Asia, and the ghost of what has been left behind.