Ghost Wisps of Nylon

I recently went to see an exhibition of the work of an artist called Do Ho Suh (I am unsure whether I should put a hyphen between ‘Do’ and ‘Ho’ or not, but it seems that his name can be spelt both ways)

It was an installation of his version of a part of his home in New York done in fabric (Nylon, if I remember correctly). It is satisfyingly detailed in its sparseness and striking once you’ve examined it. Because it does need examination for a full appreciation of its effectiveness. For example, I looked at it through the doors and had an immediate impression of disappointment. But there’s something magical and otherworldly about it once you’ve walked around it. It is essentially a corridor of fabric hanging in a white room. It is out of place and disconnected and mysterious. When someone opens the doors and the fabric moves, you get a sense of transience. As if the whole thing is not real and is fading into nothingness. I feel a slight hesitance in referring to this part of his work as ‘sculptures’ because I feel it is too solid a word for these desolate sheets of translucent colours. I found a picture of it where you can see the door knob which was something that I particularly liked for some reason.

I have since then looked into his work and found out that he creates many different types of artworks, but these are the ones that I find most appealing and moving.

This staircase, for instance, is so surprising. It is so beautiful in its simplicity. The red is just right and is not jarring to the eye. It is both alien and familiar. Like finding yourself in a vast, strange city at nighttime.

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