Thousands of Tiny Humans Hold Up the Floor

Last summer, during my-mom-is-so-awesome-she-bought-me-a-trip-to-Columbus-Indiana-which-is-full-of-amazing-modern-architecture trip (see here), we visited the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which features a pretty great collection, given its size. In the contemporary wing, on the fourth floor, we were fortunate enough to see (and stand on) “Floor” by Do Ho Suh.

And it was terrifying.   The Korean artist cast hundreds of thousands of 1 1/2″ human figures, with their arms raised and palms to the sky, which are then stuck in place with resin to support huge, thick glass plates, onto which the spectators are invited to walk and stand.

If one ever needed to make an argument for the value of viewing a piece in a gallery context rather than seeing merely photos, you’d be hard pressed to find a better example. The effect of walking on the piece is incredible – you become hyper aware of every step, and as you’re invited to imagine what it’s like to actually stand on the hard work and broken bodies of others, you’re immediately called to examine how your decisions and political decisions effect those who create the things you consume and are really affected by the public policies you support.

These things need to be in every shopping mall and voter precinct across the country. I imagine it will make everyone reconsider their decisions.


Do Ho’s piece is currently on display at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York, as part of a larger installation show. If you’re in town, you gotta see it.

More photos and details at My Modern Met