I recently went to see the Do Ho Suh installation at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. Entitled New York City Apartment/Bristol, it is a re-creation of the corridor and stairs of the artist's home-in fabric. I was really intrigued to see this, as someone with a strong interest in both art and textiles, and it didn't disappoint.
The level of detail in this piece is quite astonishing. Everything from light switches, sprinkler and security systems, locks and even screws has been re-created with fabric and thread. In the translucent, mesh like fabric, these familiar shapes take on a different feeling.
The Museum has described this installation as "ghost architecture", and it really does have a ghostly feel, like an imprint left behind. It also reminded me of the shed skins of reptiles-almost as if the apartment had cast off this sheer layer and moved on to a different location.
The installation has a lot of visual impact, and I feel like the longer you spend looking at it, the more detail you will find. There are so many interesting shapes and juxtapositions caused by the stitched lines being visible through the fabric, and it's equally interesting to look at from the inside and the outside.
You can walk through the piece to see the inside details, which is a surreal and almost otherworldly experience. If you have the chance to visit this installation, I really recommend it-it needs to be experienced in person to get the full effect.
As a side note, the gallery attendant for this installation was wonderful. Knowledgeable, clearly passionate about the piece and very friendly, he told me all about the work, pointed out details he thought I would find interesting, and encouraged me to take photos when he saw I had a camera. It really added to my experience to have someone so enthusiastic in the gallery.
You can find out more about New York Apartment/Bristol on the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery website-http://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/whats-on/do-ho-suh/