On Monday 24 September, an ambitious new installation by Korean artist Do Ho Suh (b.1962, South Korea) will be unveiled on a footbridge above Wormwood Street – one of the busiest roads in the City of London, near Liverpool Street Station.
Invited by Art Night and Sculpture in the City to respond to the migrant history of the East End and the City of London, Suh has created Bridging Home, London, a replica of a traditional Korean house, his childhood home, and surrounding bamboo garden, which will appear to have ‘fallen’ onto the Wormwood Street footbridge.
Suh’s first large-scale outdoor installation in the capital, Bridging Home, London reflects the artist’s own experience of moving across continents and between cultures, and continues his career-long investigation of memory, migration, the multiplicity of the immigrant experience, and home as both a physical structure and a lived experience.
Inspired by his peripatetic life, Suh often focuses on transitory or connecting spaces – corridors, staircases, bridges, gateways – thinking of them as linking zones through which the body travels, physically and metaphorically, across continents and between cultures. Located between tall buildings, Bridging Home, London is at once an alien structure: an apparently traditional wooden building amid the glass and steel architecture of the City of London; a humble domestic structure in the business heart of the capital; a private space in the public realm. Yet, it asks questions of all of us: about how the built environment shapes our relationships to both the public and private spheres, what it means to belong, and how we carry an idea of home with us, regardless of geographic location.
Do Ho Soh says ‘It is hugely rewarding to create a public work in London, my adopted home. For me, a building is more than just space. It is not only physical but also metaphorical and psychological. In my work I want to draw out these intangible qualities of energy, history, life and memory. While Bridging Home, London comes from personal experience, I hope it is something a lot of people can relate to.’
Co-commissioned by Art Night and Sculpture in the City, and curated by Fatoş Üstek, Bridging Home, London (2018) will be installed from September 2018 for a minimum of six months and is part of Art Night’s Legacy programme – a series of co-commissions, acquisitions for public collections and longer-term projects beyond the festival itself. It forms part of the eighth edition of Sculpture in the City, the internationally renowned urban sculpture park which also showcases another 18 artists and is currently on view in the City of London’s Square Mile. This commission follows on from Do Ho Suh’s participation in Art Night 2017, which consisted of a video installation in Christ Church Spitalfields showing Passage/s (2015) and My Home/s (2016).
This commission is kindly supported by Arts Council Korea and Arts Council England Joint Fund, the City of London Corporation, the Korean Culture Centre UK, Phillips, Saja Foundation x Outset, Savills, Simmons & Simmons. The Garden was designed in collaboration with HOK with the participation of Blooming Artificial. Further thanks to Lehmann Maupin, Victoria Miro, Velorose, Wedlake Bell, The White Wall Company.
IMAGE: Do Ho Suh, rendering for ‘Bridging Home, London’ (2018), a co-commission by Art Night and Sculpture in the City to be unveiled 24 September 2018 on a bridge above Wormwood Street near Liverpool Street Station.