Floor Module is an installation commissioned to Do Ho Suh for the contemporary art collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The original piece consists of thirty-two rectangular modules, which collectively create the floor surface of a specific area in one of the museum’s exhibition halls. The modules function as a thick glass floor over which the public can walk. Beneath it is a set of colorful figurines: hundreds of men and women whose raised hands seem to be holding up the glass. With this simple and direct approach, Suh identifies the collective effort of the diminutive figurines as supporting the visitors’ weight and movement through the space.
Suh explores themes like migration through sculptures that challenge conventional notions of scale and site-specificity. One of his main interests is how spectators occupy and inhabit public spaces. Notions about collective social potential are addressed by means of site-specific interventions that take stock of the space’s possibilities in both its physical and metaphorical manifestations. This piece is characteristic of the explorations within the artist’s body of work, as Suh had previously made use of miniature figures, which he counterpoises with large structures by using them as their foundation. In Floor Module Suh’s subtle occupation of the exhibition space, together with the displacement of scale, present a personal exploration of space, which is only possible through communal action.
On the other hand Metal Jacket is made up of military identity tags that give shape to a jacket that, on account of the material, visually takes the shape of an armor. In this piece the chosen material refers as much to identity as to questions of permanence, since the metal from which it is made is not easily oxidized or damaged. [Y. M.]