Korean artist Do Ho Suh has often explored thoughts on collective strength (and perhaps weakness) in his work before. However, his new sculpture Karma addresses a more personal collectivity. This enormous sculpture seems to stretch on perpetually. At the sculpture’s base a man stands with his eyes covered by another man crouching on his back. That man’s eyes are also covered by another man crouching on his back and this pattern appears to repeat ad infinitum. Perhaps a literal visual interpretation of the concept of karma or even the saying ‘history is doomed to repeat itself’.
When Do Ho Suh first proposed “Fallen Star” to UC San Diego’s Stuart Collection, he “never thought it would be realized.” A cottage built from scratch and permanently joined to an existing campus building – several stories up in the air? Right, mm-hm.
“Fallen Star” is hard to miss. The 18th addition to the renowned collection of site-specific sculptures at UC San Diego is in a central campus location. It sits atop Jacobs Hall, also known as Engineering Building 1 – cantilevered at an angle from a corner of the seventh floor.
The house was built during the fall of 2011. On Nov. 15, it was gently hoisted 100 feet and then attached to Jacobs Hall.
It has since been furnished and accessorized. Its garden is growing: There’s a plum tree, a wisteria vine, tomatoes and more. Lights flicker on at night; a TV, too. And steam, simulating smoke, sometimes rises from the chimney.
To some, imagining Oz, it might look like a tornado-tossed interloper from Kansas. To others, more biologically minded, perhaps like a small blue creature living in symbiosis with its much larger host. Either way, it can be seen from multiple vantage points on campus and off. (Watch a video about the installation after the jump)
New York based Korean artist, Do Ho Suh, creates beautifully detailed installations where he constantly has us question the identity of the individual in modern day society. Those of you who live here in Los Angeles, might have seen a few of his sculptures at LACMA where he worked with the idea of the clashing of culture and identity most Korean-Americans face by crashing a traditional Korean house into a modern day American house. Inside, traditional Korean furniture spilling into various rooms of the American house, all mixing into one chaotic mess. I have always genuinely enjoyed the way Do Ho Suh communicates his concepts, and his painfully close attention to detail.