Commissioned for the opening of the National Museum of Modern and
Contemporary Art, Korea in 2013, and having been presented in many of the
world’s most prestigious institutions, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris and
the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the participatory performance piece by the Taiwanese–American
artist LEE Mingwei is premiering in Italy at MAO, where it will be on view for
one month.Sonic Blossom is part
of the evolution of the exhibition Buddha10. A fragmented display
on Buddhist visual evolution, which will reopen to the public on May 6, with
Museo d’Arte Orientale, Turin is delighted to present, in collaboration with
the Conservatorio di Musica “Giuseppe Verdi”, Turin, and the Taipei
Representative Office in Italy, the Italian premiere of the performance
piece Sonic Blossom by the artist LEE Mingwei(Taipei,
From May 6 to June 4,
2023, Sonic Blossom will be performed at MAO in the Salone
Mazzonis, creating a dialogue with the museum visitors, the works in the
permanent collection, and the temporary exhibition Buddha10. A
fragmented display on Buddhist visual evolution.
Selected and trained by Lee Mingwei in
collaboration with music professor Erik Battaglia, seven singers
from the Conservatorio “Giuseppe Verdi”, will alternate in the museum’s
galleries for five weeks.
The singer will choose
one visitor from among all those present and offer him or her a gift of a
song of Schubert’s Lieder. If the visitor accepts the gift, he or she will
be guided to the Salone Mazzonis and the performance will begin.
The performances depend
on visitor participation and will be held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from
3 to 5 PM; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 AM to 1 PM and from 3 to 5 PM.
The idea for Sonic Blossom developed
out of LEE’s deeply personal experience: “Sonic Blossom came into existence
while I was caring for my mother as she recuperated from surgery. We found
great comfort in listening to Franz Schubert’s Lieder. These songs came as an
unexpected gift to us, one that soothed us both and clearly helped with her
healing. At another level, seeing my own mother weak and ill made her (and my)
mortality suddenly very real; ageing, disease and death were no longer
abstractions to me, but immediate and present. One day she – and I – will be
gone. Like Schubert’s Lieder, our own lives are brief, but all the more
beautiful because of this.”
With its capacity to generate a profound
connection between two complete strangers, the participatory performance piece Sonic
Blossom is a transformative giftto
museum visitors, a moving invitation to trust and self-awareness.
LEE Mingwei’s performance piece – an
exhibition with no objects – is an integral part of the new iteration of Buddha10,
which will reopen to the public on May 6 radically changed. The link
with Mingwei’s piece is especially meaningful and profound, since one of the
most important aspects of Buddhism is the practice of compassion
and the gift – communicated from heart to heart – the vibrant heart
of Sonic Blossom.