Apr 27 2017

Do Ho Suh Awarded Ho-Am Prize for the Arts

by Katherine Volk

Do Ho Suh, recipient of the 2017 Ho-Am Prize for the Arts. Courtesy Lehmann Maupin, New York/Hong Kong. 

Korean sculptor and installation artist Do Ho Suh was announced as one of the recipients of the Ho-Am Prize in late April. Renowned for his large-scale fabric pieces, Suh was honored for his contribution to the arts and his distinguished accomplishments in his field. He will be presented with a diploma, a pure gold medal and KWR 300 million (USD 266,000) at an award ceremony on June 1 in Seoul.

Established in 1990 by Samsung chairman Kun-Hee Lee, the Ho-Am Prize is lauded as the Korean equivalent of the Nobel Prize. The award aims to recognize individuals, particularly of Korean heritage, in six categories: science, engineering, medicine, the arts, community service and a special field. A six-member panel including academics and Ho-Am Foundation chairman, Byungdoo Sohn, nominate and make the final selection of the laureates.

Born in Seoul and now based in London, Suh’s practice examines displacement, memories, and the constructed boundaries between private and public space, ideas he draws from his own nomadic lifestyle having lived in Korea, United States and Europe. Some of his most well-known pieces are his life-size recreations of past residences that have ranged from his traditional Korean-style family home in Seoul and a three-story town house in Providence, Rhode Island, to a brownstone in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. In such works, he meticulously reproduces architectural features and appliances with sheer fabric that visitors can enter and navigate through. In 348 West 22nd Street, Apt A, Corridor and Staircase, New York NY 10011, USA (2012), for instance, Suh reproduces rooms and staircases of his brownstone apartment complex in New York by using sheer polyester pieces that are painstakingly sewn together.

In 2001, Suh represented Korea at the 49th Venice Biennale. He has participated in various exhibitions and site-specific projects across notable international institutions such as the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2016), National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (2013), University of California, San Diego (2012) and Tate Modern, London (2011). His work is included in various collections around the world including Museum of Modern Art and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. 

Previous winners of the Ho-Am Prize in the arts category include installation and video artist Kimsooja (2015), painter Lee Ufan (2001) and video artist Nam-June Paik (1995).

DO HO SUH, installation view of the exhibition “Passage/s” at Victoria Miro, London, 2017. Copyright the artist. Photo by Thierry Bal. Courtesy the artist, Lehmann Maupin, New York/Hong Kong, and Victoria Miro.

Katherine Volk is assistant editor at ArtAsiaPacific. 

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