Western awards honorary doctorate to artist Do Ho Suh
Artist Do Ho Suh, whose work is the most recent addition to Western’s internationally known sculpture collection, will receive an honorary doctorate degree from Western Washington University at spring Commencement Saturday, June 9.
Suh and his work are known for exploring such universal notions of home and migration, of individuality and strength in numbers, and of personal and public space. Some of his most famous work includes “Seoul Home/L.A. Home/New York Home,” a finely detailed reproduction of his childhood house made out of diaphanous, transparent silk. His “some/one,” part of the Seattle Art Museum’s permanent collection, depicts the outline of a suit of armor made up of polished military dog tags, evocative of the way an individual soldier is part of a larger troop or military body. “Floor” invites viewers to consider the line between collective strength and homogeneity as they walk on thick glass held up by thousands of tiny human figures.
A native of Korea now living and working in New York, London and Korea, Suh’s artwork is included in major museum collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Suh’s work is also included at the Tate Modern in London and the Seattle Art Museum.
This week, Suh’s artwork will join Western’s own renowned sculpture collection. “Cause and Effect” is a striking sculpture comprised of thousands of tiny human forms stacked on one another’s shoulders, together creating a powerful tornado-like funnel resting on the two feet of a solitary figure.
Western was given authority by the Washington State Legislature in 2011 to grant honorary doctoral degrees in recognition of outstanding achievement in arts, letters, sciences, or the professions, or for service in education, government or humanitarian endeavors. Suh will receive Western’s third such honorary degree, an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts. Western’s other honorary degree recipients are author and journalist Timothy Egan and Jane Lubchenco, chief administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.