Yes, we may seem a little obsessed with 'little men' at the moment (we wrote about Isaac Cordal's miniature cement men here) but you know how it is, you wait ages for one then two come along at once, or in Korean artist Do Ho Suh's case, nearly 2,000.
Floor is currently on show at Lehmann Maupin's pop-up gallery at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute until February 11 alongside works by other artists from the gallery including conceptual sculptor Teresita Fernández; Ashley Bickerton, one of the original members of the group of artists known as "Neo-Geo" from New York City's East Village; and fellow Korean artist Lee Bull who works across drawing, performance, sculpture painting and video.
Suh's work Floor is full of opportunities for visitors to second guess themselves: at first glance Floor looks like any other surface to walk upon, then you spot the little people, then you notice that they are all different and trying to prevent themselves from being crushed. Their sheer number and mass is a big force to contemplate.
Suh's works with these small figures en-masse speaks about individuality, collective force and his birthplace, Korea. Born in Seoul, South Korea in 1962, Suh was greatly influenced by his father - a professional painter and a master of traditional literature and calligraphy. After studying Oriental Painting at Seoul National University, Suh moved to America to continue his education at Yale University.
Working out of New York has had a great influence on Suh's work and his perception of the world. "My work started from that slippage or discrepancy, the crack. The difference between my mother tongue and foreign tongue," he says. "Once you leave your home, it's quite an unsettling experience, because you don't feel like you belong anywhere."
Suh is perhaps best known for his detailed sculptures that play with the idea of scale such as Fallen Star, a house in miniature semi-destroyed by a second house crashing into it and Karma which features legs 'walking' through the gallery, crushing the figures of small people underneath.
His site specific works question boundaries of space and identity. Suh has likened his personal experiences of moving from Korea to the USA to his work Staircase III (2010) which is held in the Tate Modern's permanent collection. "I'm interested in transitional spaces [staircases, bridges, doorways] rather than destinations," Suh says. "They connect to different spaces, but at the same time they separate the spaces. I truly believe that life is a passageway."