January 12, 2016

Stitchy Snippets - Drawing Threads

Recently I visited the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester to absorb the beauty of the textile art exhibition on display. One of my favourite pieces was the work of Do Ho Suh, a Korean artist working from London and New York. Suh's brightly coloured thread drawings were molded and stitched onto lush paper creating many textural elements. Originally stemming from 'doodles' Suh produced this body of work whilst working on his residency at Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI).

Do Hu Suh talks about his inspiration for the work. 'It also suggests the life before me, which is the heritage, the history, the culture and the knowledge that has been passed on to me from generation to generation which you cannot visualize ... This is the human relationship I try to visualize with the lines.'

These drawings began as research for sculptures that Suh produced some ten years earlier and through his thread drawings Suh develops those concepts further. 'I was thinking about how we are all interconnected and also the idea of reincarnation and karma. I was thinking about people I would meet or I have met throughout my life ... when you think about it, they are entangled threads. A web of relationships' explains Do Ho Suh. In the work below - Paratrooper-I - Suh has hand-stitched 3000 names and signatures onto linen and draped the drawn strands over the stainless steel paratrooper figure.

Do Ho Suh is well know for his intricate architectural sculptures which are made from transparent fabric. They capture the story of his nomadic adulthood; moving to various continents and cities.

His work reflects his personal journey, the spaces he has occupied and the memories that reside there. Talking about his studio Doh Ho Suh says 'There are so many artists that come and go, and everyday many times a day they touch these things – to flip a switch, to turn the lights on. There are probably many layers of history on the surface of these objects. I want to bring these invisible connections or memories that these daily objects possess.'

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