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Exhibition Highlights

photo:The Mending Project

The Mending Project
Installation view: Lombard-Freid Projects, New York, 2009
Collection: Rudy Tseng
Photo: Anita Kan

1. The First Large-Scale Solo Exhibition Incorporating a Comprehensive Survey of Lee Mingwei’s Projects

Lee Mingwei, who began attracting attention internationally in the late 1990s, has exhibited widely, including in solo shows and projects at Whitney Museum of American Art (1998), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2003) and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2004) and at international exhibitions such as the 5th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (1999), the 50th Venice Biennale, Taiwan Pavilion (2003), the 10th Lyon Biennale (2009) and the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012). In Japan, as well as being introduced at such exhibitions as “The Gift of Hope” at Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2000-2001) and “The Elegance of Silence: Contemporary Art from East Asia” at Mori Art Museum (2004), he has presented recent work at Shiseido Gallery (2012) and the Dojima River Biennale (2013). This exhibition “Lee Mingwei and His Relations” is a mid-career retrospective bringing together many of Lee Mingwei’s major works from the last 20 years for the first time.

photo:The Moving Garden

The Moving Garden
Installation view: The 10th Lyon Biennale, France, 2009
Collection: Amy & Leo Shih
Photo: Blaise Adilon

2. Experience Various Types of "Participatory Art"

Lee Mingwei' s participatory artworks come in various types, including those in which anyone can participate in the gallery, those in which participants need to apply in advance, those that only people chosen by ballot can experience, those in which participants play the role of host welcoming visitors on behalf of the artist and those they can participate by pure accident. Through the audience participating in various arrangements put in place by the artist, such as offering flowers they have been given in the exhibition to strangers they pass by on the way home, sharing memorable items of clothing along with episodes associated with them, writing the letters they had always meant to but had never taken time for or daring to walk over the sand painting and deform the image, the artworks take on an incredible vitality. The exhibition will change continuously over 107 days almost as if it had its own life.

photo:Mu (Nothingness)

Mu (Nothingness)
18th century
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
39.5 × 38.5 cm
Collection: Hisamatsu Shinichi Memorial Museum, Gifu, Japan

photo:Vegetable Weapon: Imoni (Taro potato soup with pork) / Fukushima

Ozawa Tsuyoshi
Vegetable Weapon: Imoni (Taro potato soup with pork) / Fukushima
Type C print
36.5 × 28.6 cm
Courtesy: MISA SHIN GALLERY, Tokyo

3. A Solo Exhibition But with Works by Other Artists Included to Contextualize Lee Mingwei’s Body of Works

Although this is a solo exhibition by Lee Mingwei, at the same time it is also a themed exhibition aimed at rethinking two of the keywords that are extremely important to Lee Mingwei' s art practice: “relations” and “connections.” The presentation of works by various other artists including Hakuin, D.T. Suzuki, John Cage, Yves Klein, Lee Ufan, Allan Kaprow, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Ozawa Tsuyoshi and Tanaka Koki as well as of historical works as “reference works" will aid in understanding the historical and cultural contexts that form the backdrop to Lee’s practice.

11 artists, religious leaders and thinkers

John Cage
Allan Kaprow
Yves Klein
Tanaka Koki
Imakita Kōsen
Hisamatsu Shin'ichi
D.T. Suzuki
Rirkrit Tiravanija
Ozawa Tsuyoshi
Lee Ufan

photo:The Moving Garden

The Letter Writing Project
Installation view: Chicago Cultural Center, 2007
Photo: Anita Kan

4. Video Commentary by Lee Mingwei Himself Accompanying Selected Projects

Many of Lee Mingwei’s works have arisen out of his own personal experiences or memories. For this exhibition, Lee Mingwei himself will appear on video to explain the background to these works (Note that this does not apply to all the works).