"Fallen Star" by Do-Ho Suh
Do-Ho Suh's newest installation, "Fallen Star", opens today, nearly seven years after the project's inception. Located at the University of California, San Diego campus, the work consists of a tidy gable-roofed house cantilevered off of Jacobs Hall, a hulking concrete building that's the antithesis of the artist's preciously crafted home. Visitors may pass through the "front lawn", filled with concomitant shrubbery and manicured lawns, on through to the house's fully furnished interior, complete with all the typical creature comforts. The transition from the roof to the inside is physically minimal yet perceptually unnerving: the wooden floor slopes just 5 degrees from the rooftop garden, while the actual structure is angled 10 degrees off the ledge, the disparate floor levels inducing a feeling of falling.
Perched seven stories in the air, the 70,000 lbs. structure was designed to meet California earthquake codes, with an 18-inch foundation capable of withstanding wind speeds of up to 100 mph--a militant suburbia, so to speak, that preserves the familial hearth, disseminating it to all students far away from home. The piece continues the artist's exploration of the notion of home, where the material conditions and artifacts of domesticity are suffused with both a conceptual and emotional baggage that follows personal displacement. But be sure, sentimental's not in it.