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The Mori Art Museum Presents LEE MINGWEI AND HIS RELATIONS, 9/20-1/4

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The Mori Art Museum Presents LEE MINGWEI AND HIS RELATIONS, 9/20-1/4

Mori Art Museum is pleased to present "Lee Mingwei and His Relations," a solo exhibition of a Taiwan-born, New York-residing artist Lee Mingwei, from Saturday, September 20, 2014 to Sunday, January 4, 2015. This will mark his first large-scale survey exhibition to date.

In the realm of contemporary art, since the late 1990s, artworks and art practices based on audience participation have risen to prominence and expanded globally as "relational aesthetics" and "participatory art." In this trend, Lee Mingwei has worked on numerous art projects that involve the participation of an audience in some form or another, and taken part in a number of international exhibitions. This exhibition will therefore represent a mid-career retrospective of the art practice of Lee Mingwei, enabling us to comprehensively experience his art.

This exhibition will present 14 (planned) works and projects by Lee Mingwei alongside works by various other artists including Hakuin, D.T. Suzuki, John Cage, Yves Klein, Allan Kaprow, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Ozawa Tsuyoshi that will help in understanding their historical
and cultural context, making the viewing
experience more multidimensional and
intellectually fulfilling.

As hinted at by Lee Mingwei himself when he says, "At the opening stage the show will be only around 40 percent complete," during the exhibition the various projects will take on a life of their own as a result of the interaction of members of the audience, changing daily and becoming even more complex and multilayered. How are we connected to the people and the environment around us and, beyond these, to the world and history? We hope this exhibition will provide an opportunity for visitors to think again about relations and connections.

EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS

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 Mignwei 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.

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 and those in which participants play the role of host welcoming visitors on behalf of the artist. Through the audience participating in the 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 or writing the letters they had always meant to but had never taken time for, the artworks take on an incredible vitality. The exhibition will change continuously over 107 days almost as if it had its own life.

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, Allan Kaprow, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Ozawa Tsuyoshi 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.

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).

Lee Mingwei

Born 1964, in Taichung, Taiwan, and currently living in New York City. Received an M.F.A. in Sculpture from the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Yale University in 1997. Lee Mingwei creates both participatory installations, where strangers can explore issues of trust, intimacy, and self-awareness on their own, and one-on-one events, where visitors explore these issues with the artist himself through eating, sleeping, walking and conversation. Lee's projects are often open-ended scenarios for everyday interaction, and take on different forms depending on the participants. His major solo exhibitions include Whitney Museum of American Art (1998), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2003) and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2004). He has also participated in a number of international exhibitions such as the 50th Venice Biennale, Taiwan Pavilion (2003), the 10th Lyon Biennale (2009), and the 5th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (1999).


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