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Do Ho Suh Installations Damaged In After-House Event In Australia

Two fabric installations by Do Hu Soh were accidentally damaged at an after-hours party at MCA Australia.

On view as part of a survey dedicated to Suh, his first in the Southern Hemisphere, the two works—Hub, 260-10 Sungbook-dong, Sungbook-ku, Seoul, Korea (2016) and Hub-2, Breakfast Corner, 260-7, Sungbook-Dong, Sungboo-Ku, Seoul, Korea (2018)—depict full-scale re-creations of entries to different homes in which he has resided around the world. The exhibition, which was part of the museum’s Sydney International Art Series, closed yesterday.

Reports suggested that the works were damaged during an event sponsored by Bloomberg, one of the MCA’s corporate partners. The guest reportedly knocked into the work, bringing down two of the doors in the intricately constructed installation.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia said in a statement: “A visitor to the Do Ho Suh exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia accidentally stumbled which impacted an installation on display. Museum protocol was followed, and no one was hurt. The work was assessed by a conservator before the gallery space reopened to the public. The care of artworks is of the utmost importance to MCA Australia. Accidents do happen in museums and galleries, which is why all institutions have clear procedures for these situations.”

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Installations getting damaged, either intentionally or accidentally, is not a new phenomenon. Just recently, a Jeff Koons sculpture of the ‘balloon dog’ was accidentally shattered by a visitor. On the other hand, a visitor intentionally shattered two statues, over 2000 years old, in the Vatican last October after he was denied an audience with the Pope. In recent years, attempts to take selfies have emerged as a major cause of damaging artworks. For example, in June 2022 a visitor ripped a 1933 painting while trying to take a picture with it. A sculpture in Italy was damaged in 2020 in a similar selfie incident.