Do Ho Suh

Rubbing/Loving, STPI, Artist Studio 38, 41 Robertson Quay, Singapore, 238236

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Do Ho Suh, Rubbing/Loving, STPI, Artist Studio 38, 41 Robertson Quay, Singapore, 238236, 2017, Pastel on paper, 66 x 73.5 x 7 cm. Copyright: the artist. Image courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery. Art Jameel Collection

Artwork Details


Do Ho Suh


Rubbing/Loving, STPI, Artist Studio 38, 41 Robertson Quay, Singapore, 238236




Pastel on paper


66 x 73.5 x 7 cm

Credit Line

Art Jameel Collection

Work Description

Do Ho Suh uses the process of rubbing to create tactile drawings that rely on touch rather than sight and sensation rather than replication; for the artist, it is a method of exploration and discovery, one that is physical in its process while also demanding personal and emotional engagement. This method of obtaining an impression of a raised or textured surface by placing paper over it and rubbing it with graphite or crayon is also used in the development of Suh’s fabric works. Rather than photographing a space or taking measurements, Suh often creates rubbings on large sheets of paper to gain valuable information, such as the dimensions and physical characteristics of the space.

The title of the work comments on the limitations, discrepancies and humour that come with bilingualism, particularly in the translation from his mother tongue to his adopted English. In Korean, there are no distinguishing sounds between the letters / and r, or between the letters b and v; therefore, the pronunciation of the English word “rubbing” sounds uncannily similar to that of “loving”. The confusion stemming from mispronunciations of these words creates a relationship that is important for Suh. Rubbing is an act of loving, and he employs it as a way to excavate spaces, caressing the walls to unveil their hidden stories.

Artist Biography

Do Ho Suh (b. 1962, lives and works in London, UK) works across various media, creating drawings, film, and sculptural works that confront questions of home, physical space, displacement, memory, individuality, and collectivity. He received a BFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design (1994) and a MFA in sculpture from Yale University (1997). 

Suh has had recent solo exhibitions at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2019); Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington (2018); The Brooklyn Museum, New York (2018); ARoS, Aarhus, Denmark (2018); Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden (2017); Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2016); NC-arte, Bogotá (2016); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2015); and the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (2015). Select group exhibitions featuring his work include the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Boston (2019); Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge (2019); 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art & Culture City of East Asia, Kanazawa, Japan (2018); Queens Museum, New York (2014); Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul (2014); and the Daegu Art Museum, South Korea (2012); among others. 

Suh has participated in multiple biennial exhibitions, including the Chicago Architecture Biennial (2019); Singapore Biennial (2016); 9th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2012); 12th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice (2010); 6th Liverpool Biennial (2010); 8th International Istanbul Biennial (2003); 13th Biennial of Sydney (2002); and the 49th Venice Biennale (2001). 

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