Critics’ Picks

View of “Do Ho Suh,” 2013.

View of “Do Ho Suh,” 2013.

Hong Kong

Do Ho Suh

Lehmann Maupin | Hong Kong
12 Pedder Street 407 Pedder Building
November 14, 2013–January 25, 2014

“I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods,” wrote Truman Capote in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. London-based South Korean artist Do Ho Suh’s “Specimen Series” exudes that same sentiment—it revisits living spaces via memory—delivering sculpture rather than prose. For his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, Suh continues to explore the personal and the domestic with polyester fabric works modeled on appliances and fixtures from places he once resided. Here, he recalls dwellings in New York, Berlin, and Seoul.

The six largest sculptures—a radiator, refrigerator, stove, toilet, bathtub, and medicine cabinet—are based on items from a New York apartment on West Twenty-Second Street and fabricated to scale. Presented in a darkened room, each in a large glass box lit from within, the sculptures takes on an otherworldly appearance. The polyester material’s translucent quality seems to comment upon the fragile nature of memory; as well, the fabric has the disarming effect of rendering ethereal an item as mundane as a toilet. The red of the radiator evokes heat, while the blue of the other five items mimics the coolness of metal and porcelain. The exhibition is rounded out by smaller objects such as doorknobs, locks, hinges, and light switches—all of which allow a home to function while imbuing it with character that indicates either a homeowner’s taste or a landlord’s budget. The accumulation of these delicate items makes it possible to imagine Suh’s previous accommodations, and the past events and feelings that haunt them.