Do Ho Suh’s “Portal” Ongoing

“It really needs to be seen in person. Literally and figuratively, it is so transparent—there’s no trick whatsoever—but it creates this incredible illusion because of the way the light hits the milled surface. You sense gravity, the density of weight, in a different way.” —Do Ho Suh

Commissioned by the MFAH and produced with support from collaborators in Colorado, Maryland, and New York, Do Ho Suh’s Portal is installed in the Kinder Building, adjacent to the entrance of the Glassell School of Art.

Do Ho Suh describes Portal as an “impossible” sculpture—at once monumental, weighing nine tons—and seemingly ephemeral, as the exquisitely milled acrylic captures light and reflection, essentially transparent as it encases the image of a traditional Korean gate in negative space.

Portal stands near two other major works commissioned for the opening of the Kinder Building: Ólafur Elíasson’s Sometimes an underground movement is an illuminated bridge and Ai Weiwei’s Dragon Reflection.

The concepts of home, displacement, and transitional spaces are touchstones across Suh’s career. Portal summons the artist’s powerful family legacy, shaped by Korea’s history of war and colonial oppression in the 20th century, which destroyed much of the capital city, Seoul. In the years of reconstruction that followed, Do Ho Suh’s father, Suh Se Ok, himself a renowned artist, built a home for the family with a classical entry portal based on an 18th-century gate.

Do Ho Suh’s Portal / Opening Date: February 6, 2024


Nancy and Rich Kinder Building
5500 Main Street
Houston, TX 77004
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