Do Ho Suh, Rubbing/Loving


By art21. Artist Do Ho Suh makes one final artwork in the New York apartment that was his home and studio for eighteen years. Suh covered every surface in the apartment with white paper which he then rubbed with colored pencil to reveal and preserve all of the space’s memory-provoking details. “My energy has been accumulated and in a way I think my rubbing shows that,” says Suh. “I’m trying to show the layers of time.” Suh’s landlord, who was initially hesitant to rent to a young artist, became a close friend and supported him in making earlier fabric works about the apartment. Before passing away, the landlord gave Suh permission to make this final work: “Rubbing/Loving.” It serves as a transportable testament to the home’s emotional importance to Suh and the owner’s family. “I try to understand my life as a movement through different spaces,” says Suh, who was born in South Korea, studied in Rhode Island and Connecticut and now lives in London. Best known for his intricate sculptures that defy conventional notions of scale and site-specificity, Do Ho Suh draws attention to the ways viewers occupy and inhabit public space. Whether addressing the dynamic of personal space versus public space, or exploring the fine line between strength in numbers and homogeneity, Suh’s sculptures continually question the identity of the individual in today’s increasingly transnational, global society.

Cite this page as: Art21, "Do Ho Suh, Rubbing/Loving," in Smarthistory, January 14, 2021, accessed October 17, 2021, https://smarthistory.org/do-ho-suh-rubbing-loving/.