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10 January 2007 @ 01:04 pm
thesis talk of january first, page 9  

Suh has described Seoul Home as a sort of parachute, easing his transition from one place and culture to another, as a parachute eases the passage of a body from sky to earth. From below, Seoul Home does resemble an open parachute, creating a method of passage from one space (in this case the base of the staircase) to another (the second floor). Seoul Home, which can be folded and easily transported in two suitcases, is a home which moves where the body does. It is, at least in part, an attempt by Suh to bridge the sense of dislocation felt by the immigrant. Part of Seoul Home’s power comes from its lineage of memory, connected not only to Suh’s personal memory, but to the collective, historical memory of his mother country. Because of this, the fact that Seoul Home is in some ways a reproduction adds to its value rather than reducing it. Its aura is derived not from originality but from the connectivity of mimetic practice.

In The Poetics of Space, Bachelard writes, “By remembering houses and rooms we learn to abide within ourselves”. There is something in the importance of remembering the spaces we have called home that constitutes a cross-cultural human experience and a profoundly important one. Seoul Home is compelling because it manages to be both deeply personal and culturally specific, yet as critic Frances Richards writes, it provides “…a scrim onto which anyone might project his or her reveries of any absent home”.