(B. 1962)
Metal Jacket
stainless steel, fabric sculpture
139 x 33.5 x 82.5 cm. (54 3/4 x 13 1/8 x 32 1/2 in.)
with stand: 153 x 60 x 158 cm. (60 1/4 x 23 5/8 x 62 1/4 in.)
edition of 6
Executed in 1992-2001
St. Louis, USA, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, On the Margins: Displacement, Individuality, and Transcendence, February-April, 2008 (different edition exhibited).
New York, USA, Museum of Arts and Designs, Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, 27 September 2008-19 April 2009 (different edition exhibited).

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Felix Yip
Felix Yip

Lot Essay

Suh Doho reflects on the dialectical nature of identity, deeming that identity's ambiguity is not merely derived from the modern concept of collectivism, but is instead has always been shaped and will continually be reshaped as a form of evolution by the communication and relationship of the individual and those around them. Using his Korean military experience, he utilizes western items of three thousand military dog tags in to solidity as a visual metaphor for cultural pluralism and indestructible strength, inventing a startling outcome of an ancient oriental armor of Metal Jacket (Lot 1359). A prototype to his monumental sculpture Some/One, in the collection of Leeum Museum of Art, Korea; the stainless steel dog tags are systematized in orderly yet lyrical patterns in a rather simple technical practice but one that illuminates conceptual yet phenomenal aesthetics.

"'Often, people, even critics, think that my work is about individuality disappearing into anonymity. But it's not. I don't think anonymity exists actually. It's just a convenient way to describe a certain situation. It's our problem not to see certain individuals, or not to see difference or individuality. I just want to recognize them."
Some/One evolved from my first sculpture, Metal Jacket (Lot 1359). I had a dream one day after I finished Metal Jacket (Lot 1359) that I wanted to turn it into some kind of larger installation. The dream was quite vivid. It was night, and I was outside a stadium, approaching it from the distance, and I saw a light in the stadium. And so I thought, "There's some kind of activity going on there." And as I approached, I started to hear clicking sounds, like the sound when metal pieces touch together. It was like there were thousands of crickets in the stadium. And then I entered the stadium. I walked slowly, but I went into the stadium on the ground level. And then I saw this reflecting surface and I realized I was stepping on these metal pieces that were military dog tags. And they were vibrating slightly, vibrating and touching each other. The sound was from that. From afar I saw the central figure in the center of the stadium. It tried to go out of the stadium but it couldn't because the train of its garment, which was made of dog tags, was just too big. It was just too big to pull all the dog tags. So that was a dream and the image that I got. After that I made a small drawing about this vast field of military dog tags on the ground and a small figure in the center. Obviously I could not create the piece exactly as I dreamt it, but that was the kind of impact I wanted to create through that piece." (M. Sollins, Art: 21 Art in the Twenty-First Century, vol. 2. New York, 2003).

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