Do-Ho Suh was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1962. After earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Oriental Painting from Seoul National University, and fulfilling his term of mandatory service in the South Korean military, Suh relocated to the United States to continue his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and Yale University. Suh leads an itinerant life, hopping from his family home in Seoul (where his father is a major influence in Korean traditional painting) to his working life in New York. Migration, both spatial and psychological, has been one of Suh's themes, manifested through biographical narrative and emotionally inflected architecture. Best known for his intricate sculptures that defy conventional notions of scale and site-specificity, Suh's work draws attention to the ways viewers occupy and inhabit public space. Interested in the malleability of space in both its physical and metaphorical manifestations, Suh constructs site-specific installations that question the boundaries of identity. His work explores the relation between individuality, collectivity, and anonymity. In this critique essay, Suh’s sculptural works of the “Karma, 2010” and ….. will be covered.
The Karma, 2010, is an extraordinary eye-catching artwork by Do-Ho Suh. The sculpture is made from a series of 98 cast stainless steel human figures weighing 1300 pounds and extending 23 feet tall in to the sky. The free standing sculpture is anchored only at the base of the two large figures at the base of the sculpture made of stainless steel with copper plate, while the remaining figures are composed of entirely bronze. The use of steel and bronze give a shiny appearance for the sculpture. The sculpture depicts a still standing man carrying a series of crouching human figures on his shoulder with each crouching figure carrying another on their shoulder forming a circus like theatre performed by acrobats. The standing man’s eye is covered by the crouching figure on his shoulder in which a similar action is inculcated by each figure on the sculpture. Each crouching figures is facing at the same direction as the standing man and smaller than the other as one ascends.
Currently the sculpture is installed at the museum’s Delware stairs on the east side of the 1905 Albright Buiilding in Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans.
Basically the structural integrity of the sculpture relies on the base, the standing man, with the repetition of crouching figures is also important. The central focus in this sculpture is the articulation of the figures: crouching on the shoulder and covering the eye. The artist employed a regular rhythmic pattern as one’s eye move from one crouching figure to the other. As one ascends upward, the size of the crouching figures decreases proportionally in size which curves upward in to the sky. The components of the sculpture, repetition of the crouching figures, have a similar pattern extending into the sky which provides a consonant series relationship with each other creating a symmetry. The artists employed stainless steel and bronze in this artwork which gives the sculpture a shiny