Tate Shots: Do Ho Suh- Staircase- III

Do Ho Suh, who is originally from Korea (but lives and works in New York and London), is a sculptor. He’s inspired by quite traditional subject matters like staircases, doors and bridges as they all connect to other places but are all separate and belong in their own right. This fascination stemmed from his personal life, especially living in Korea (and his move to America and their obvious cultural differences).

In this episode of TateShots we’re shown the construction of Suh’s latest installation for the Tate Modern, a floating staircase entitled “III”. III is a scale version, made in pink fabric, of the staircase that connects his apartment to his landlord’s place. The light in the room changes constantly in the room offering different experiences to everyone who spectates it. His desire was to carry his memory of the spaces he portrays and he wanted to make this piece transportable because of it. The fabric used is easy to move and transport without ruining so it can be placed in spaces all over the world and be reassembled at a later date.

“The space I’m interested in is not only a physical one, but an intangible, metaphorical, and psychological one”

I love this piece. I love Suh’s personal connection with his artwork and how it appears so delicate due to the pink, transparent fabric. I love the how the time of day and the light of the space can transform the piece and make it feel totally different. I think it’s incredibly fascinating how it’s so portable and can be recreated over and over due to the way it’s made. It speaks thousands of words and can remind the viewer of their own staircases, perhaps. Plainly, I think it’s very aesthetically pleasing to look at.


The transparent properties of the fabric puts me in mind of memories and dreams. The idea of it being there but not there, like a spirit, is something the fabric carries so well. It could be somewhat metaphorical of the memories he wants to carry with him and express through his installations. Likewise, you could say the sculpture looks quite ghostly due to it’s transparency.





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