In Do Ho Suh “Rubbing / Loving”, the Korean-born artist takes spaces that are intimate to him but foreign to his viewers and makes them feel deeply familiar.
How do you document a space you lived in for 18 years? A 500 square foot live in studio apartment in his adopted home of New York. How do you encapsulate the importance of a place and the objects within it? Recreating and expressing that memory of a space is no simple task.
In the past, Do-ho has intricately recreated spaces as suspended fabric scale sculptures. Sculptures that gave presence to space like nothing I have ever seen before. In “Rubbing / Loving”, the rooms of the building he occupied are covered in paper and laboriously traced and rubbed. Like so many of the space he creates, the act of creation is intimate. The trace results of the colored pencil on paper capture those intimate details. Like fingers over a surface, the paper makes you image you can feel the space. Plain paper suddenly has texture and warmth. It has a physicality which is hard to reproduce.