Artist creates a fabric architecture home

The beauty and versatility of fabric architecture has been brought to life by a South Korean artist who has created stunning copies of some of his former homes.

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Ephemeral art

Do Ho Suh’s sculpture, on show at Victoria Miro in London, is a fascinating glimpse into the life of the artist and his memories. Created entirely in fabric, the sculptures are an homage to places Suh has lived.

He began designing and sewing the pieces in 1994, in a project about remembering places he lived and being able to let go of his feelings about them. He enlisted the help of fabricators to make them, using polyester fabric which is held together by velcro and hang from stainless steel.

Suh describes his work as “fabric architecture”, a phrase we normally associate with urban structures such as shelters, hospital walkways and sun shades in schools, but used here to create an impressive work of art.

The artist wanted to explore the idea of ‘home’ and the ideas it conjures up, as both a safe space and somewhere portable for someone like himself, who travels and lives all over the world. Since he left Korea, he has been constantly on the move between different countries.

Time Out London describes the rooms as perfect life-size recreations of corridors from his life. The largest piece is a recreation of Suh’s New York apartment, where he lived until last year and is very detailed and includes a toilet, fridge and cooker. The kitchen is made from polyester fabric and stainless steel tubes, as is the staircase.  He would of used Adjustable Pallet Racking found at similar sites to to store his memories and pictures and possibly to keep any additional items out the back in an order he will be able to access easily.

Fabric shapes

Using a tensile canopy adds interest and light to a building, as well as protection from the sun and tensile fabric can be used for roofs, ceilings and interior panelling.
Tensile fabrics are used in both small and large-scale structures, with the most famous in the UK being the 02 Arena and Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. Architects like using them as they are lightweight and versatile in shape and structure, allowing them to create dynamic buildings with very few components. As the fabrics are malleable, they are good to work with and provide a strong structure when stretched.