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Doors of Change: Do Ho Suh’s Passage/s at Victoria Mirò

Do Ho Suh does not intend to limit himself to just representing passages. He wants the visitor to feel them.

1 minute

On March 18th, the London gallery Victoria Mirò ended its exhibition known as Passage/s. The contemporary art gallery is already famous for its successful exhibition Love, by the Japanese Yayoi Kusama, which has also been displayed at the Chiostro del Bramante in Rome.

The exhibition focuses on the South Korean artist Do Ho Suh. The artist investigates the meaning of passage and the boundaries between cultures and private and public spheres. The exhibition can be divided in two parts. The first shows majestic collages of entrance doors in cotton paper. All of them are inspired by real places seen by the artist around the world. One example is the pink cotton door entitled Entrance, Ground Floor, 348 West 22nd Street, New York. With detailed accuracy, Do Ho Suh represents the symbol of the passage, a door, focusing on his experience in New York. In this first section, the artist also reconstructs objects used in daily life, like lights and sockets. Always in cotton, those little elements are just a taste of the real masterpiece of the artist.

On the upper floor of the gallery, Do Ho Suh has installed a long corridor, composed by different entrance doors, from different spaces, public and private, from around the world. Here, the analysis of the theme of passage reaches its peak. Do Ho Suh does not intend to limit himself to just representing passages. He wants the visitor to feel a sense of passage. Everyone can walk inside the corridor, appreciate the detailed polyester structures, and experience the continuous change between public and private, small and big, inside and outside.

Do Ho Suh, Entrance, Ground Floor, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, 2016, Thread Drawing, Gelatine Sheet embedded on STPI handmade cotton, Victoria Mirò, London. Courtesy of the artist and the gallery

Do Ho Suh, Entrance, Ground Floor, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, 2016, Thread Drawing, Gelatine Sheet embedded on STPI handmade cotton, Victoria Mirò, London. Courtesy of the artist and the gallery

The video installation, showing passages from streets to inside spaces, enhances the meaning of the whole installation. Probably, doors and halls are a symbol to represent the constant passages of our life: for example, inside and outside, public and private, childhood and adulthood. Doors and entrances are the passages that everyone must do when there is a choice to make, a travel to do, or a change to face.

Do Ho Suh effectively shows all these passages, though translucent cotton structures, whilst involving all kinds of visitors. Is Passage/s going to travel to other European cities, like Rome? I hope so; a change of exhibition space and public is, indeed, also part of a passage and this exhibition needs to travel so people from different areas can experience it. I believe that the artworks of Do Ho Suh should be known by a wider audience, yet should not be shown in a museum for a long time. They lose part of their charm if they not do their own passage from one place to another,  like the large installation of the artist.

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