A Drunk Partygoer at a Sydney Museum Event Took a Tumble and Accidentally Damaged Two Do Ho Suh Installations

The tipsy attendee was "going hard for a Monday night!"

Do Ho Suh, Staircase - III (2010). Photo: Antoine van Kaam.
Do Ho Suh, Staircase - III (2010). Photo: Antoine van Kaam.

A pair of major installations by South Korean artist Do Ho Suh was damaged at an after-hours cocktail event at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA).

Suh’s survey show had recently closed after ranking as one of the city’s best-attended summer exhibitions when an attendee at a private event for Bloomberg, an MCA sponsor and partner, merrily tumbled and allegedly detached two doors. The news broke via a tip sent to Aussie Corporate, a networking site and proud dispenser of “cheeky insights,” with the informer saying the tipsy individual was “definitely going hard for a Monday night!”

“[A visitor] accidentally stumbled which impacted an installation on display. Museum protocol was followed, and no one was hurt,” MCA wrote in a statement confirming the news. “The work was assessed by a conservator before the gallery space was 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.”

The damaged works in question are Hub, 260-10 Sungbook-dong, Sungbook-ku, Seoul, Korea (2016) and Hub-2, Breakfast Corner, 260-7, Sungbook-Dong, Sungboo-Ku, Seoul, Korea (2018), both part of Suh’s celebrated “Hub” series.

Since 2015, Suh has used colored polyester fabric and stainless-steel wire to recreate, in intricate and precise detail, the spaces he has lived, spanning locations in Seoul, Berlin, London, and New York. The large architectural installations are composed of connected rooms, staircases, and corridors that encourage a sense of traveling through the mind and memories of the artist. The monochromatic, almost ghostly, works have become popular backdrops for social media snaps and have proved equally in-demand on the auction block, with many of Suh’s installations selling for six-figure sums.

Do Ho Suh, Passage/s (2017). Photo: Thierry Bal.

The MCA show was the artist’s first solo exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere and had run from November 4, 2022 to February 27, 2023, as part of the Sydney International Art Series, an initiative launched by the New South Wales Government.

Neither MCA nor Lehmann Maupin, Suh’s representing gallery, responded to requests to comment.

The news follows a viral February incident at Miami’s Art Wynwood in which a Jeff Koons sculpture was accidentally smashed by a visitor.


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