BELLINGHAM - A dedication ceremony for internationally
renowned artist Do Ho Suh's artwork "Cause & Effect" will be
held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 8, at the Academic
Instructional Center (AIC) West building at Western
The public is invited to the dedication ceremony, which will
include remarks by Western President Bruce Shepard, Western
Gallery Director Sarah Clark-Langager and Mike Sweney,
manager of the Public Arts Program for the Washington State
There will be free parking, starting at 2:30 p.m. Friday,
June 8, for this event in the gravel C lots at the south end
"Cause & Effect"
The ceiling installation is approximately 19 feet high and 8
feet across at its greatest width. As it hangs down from the
ceiling of the AIC West building, it passes through the
opening or well on the third floor and extends into the
second floor's well, taking advantage of the building's
architectural design allowing light to pass from floor to
floor. At the top there is a stainless steel plate - from
which hang the individual strands of figures connected by a
stainless steel cable; each figure, made of colored acrylic
resin, is approximately 5.5 inches high with a frontal view
width of 3 inches.
Do Ho Suh uses memories of his childhood in Korea to address
issues of interpersonal space, identity, and the transitory
qualities of existence in today's globalized society. The
mindset of the individual, coming together as a group, is a
topic of great importance in his work, as shown by his
artwork at Western.
"Cause & Effect' evokes a vicious tornado. This vast
ceiling installation is a composition of densely hung strands
that anchor thousands of figures clad in colors resembling a
Doppler reading stacked atop one another," said Do Ho Suh,
adding that the artwork is a "physical realization of
existence, suggesting strength in the presence of numerous
individuals. The work is an attempt to decipher the
boundaries between a single identity and a larger group, and
how the two conditions coexist."
The artwork at Western metaphorically places the individual
within an intricate web of destiny and fate. "It
comes from a belief that every individual is spawned from the
lives he/she may have lived previously. The vertical
context of the figures becomes a collection of past
influences, and again, begins to define the inherent powers
and energies that characterize an individual," he said.
Do Ho Suh
Do Ho Suh was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. He
earned his bachelor of fine arts and master of fine arts in
oriental painting from Seoul National University. While still
exhibiting in major contemporary museum shows in Seoul, he
relocated to the United States to continue his studies at the
Rhode Island School of Design and Yale University. Since 2000
he has had six one-person exhibitions in New York City.
In 2001 he represented his country in the prestigious Venice
Biennale and had retrospective of his work at the Seattle Art
Museum in 2002. In 2010 he participated in the Venice
Biennale Architecture Exhibition and the Liverpool Biennial.
Through January 2012 he was featured in an Asian art show at
the Seattle Art Museum. He will have a major show of his work
this spring in Seoul. This past year he created a major
installation for the Seattle Art Museum's "Luminous, The Art
of Asia" exhibition and is presently showing his newest
installation "Home within Home" at the Leeum Samsung Museum
of Art, Seoul.
Do Ho Suh's work is represented in major museum collections,
such as the Seattle Art Museum, Walker Art Gallery,
Minneapolis, and the Whitney Museum, the Solomon R.
Guggenheim Museum and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. His
public commissions include the FDA building in Silver Spring,
Md.; Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan.;
and the Unsung Founders Memorial at the University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has completed a commission for the
Stuart Collection at the University of California, San Diego.
Western has a distinguished history of art in public places.
Western's selection panels have always chosen artists who
excel in the field of sculpture, and the university has
allowed artists to choose their own sites across the entire
campus, thereby integrating art with both the terrain,
architecture and the social climate of campus. Western has
selected artists with a world view who have interests in art
as architecture, the natural environment, and social
interaction. Today, Western has one of top 10 acclaimed
university collections in the United States.
Clark-Langager noted that contemporary sculpture is a medium
in motion, eluding precise definition.
"Linked to urbanism, architecture and acoustic and visual
perception, it is a charged territory that mirrors political,
social and technological developments. Its expanding
definition today crosses all boundaries and incorporates new
kinds of media such as video and digital technology, drawing
with colored light effects, and installations of ephemeral
materials. For this reason, the Outdoor Sculpture Collection
Advisory Board has decided to move to or to concentrate on
interior spaces. The selection panel for this commission was
unanimous in its decision - that Do Ho Suh should lead us in
this direction," Clark-Langager said.
This most recent addition to Western's Outdoor Sculpture
Collection is funded by Washington state's Percent-for-Art
program, in which half of one percent of the cost for
public building construction is earmarked for art
allocation. The WWU project involved was construction
Academic Instructional Center, which opened for
classes in 2009 and has been honored for architectural
Sarah Denby, a Western Washington University senior
majoring in studio art, helps her fellow students lift one of
the strands of acrylic resin figures of renowned artist Do Ho
Suh's "Cause & Effect" sculpture to the ceiling
for installation Wednesday, May 30, 2012.
Western Washington University students watch the
installation process from the third-floor balcony in the
Academic Instructional Center on the WWU campus Wednesday,
May 30, 2012.
Western Washington University students Miles Labitzke
(white helmet) and Henry Jackson-Spieker prepare strands of
acrylic resin figures of renowned artist Do Ho Suh's
"Cause & Effect" sculpture for installation
Wednesday, May 30, 2012.