By Julia Benton
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Don't be thrown off by the tidy baby-blue house cantilevered off of University of California, San Diego's Jacobs Hall, a hulking concrete building that's the complete antithesis of its preciously crafted newest addition.
Do-Ho Suh's installation, "Fallen Star," opened last week to the public as the 18th permanent sculpture commissioned by the University's Stuart Collection. Perched seven stories in the air, the 70,000-pound structure measuring 15 by 18 feet took seven years to complete and was modeled after a real home in Providence, Rhode Island.
Visitors can walk through the house's manicured front lawn, complete with concomitant shrubbery and perfectly placed white wooden lawn chairs. The transition from the front yard to the interior is relatively minimal yet physically unnerving: the floor slopes just five degrees from the lawn, while the house itself is angled 10 degrees off the ledge of the Jacobs Hall building. The fully furnished, cozy interior is finished with all of the necessary material comforts: a brick fireplace with baby pictures on the mantle, a dangling chandelier, and an assortment of comfortable-looking living room chairs.
As if all that wasn't cool enough, the structure was also designed to meet California earthquake codes, with an 18-inch foundation capable of withstanding wind speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
Suh, who lives and works in New York, London and Seoul, is best known for his intricate sculptures that defy conventional notions of scale and site-specificity. "Fallen Star" reflects the artist's on-going exploration of themes around the notion of home, cultural displacement, and the perception of our surroundings.
"Fallen Star" is open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.