Thu, Nov 01, 2007 - Page 15 News List

Involved in art

By Noah Buchan  /  Staff Reporter

Lee Mingwei's Letter Writing Project invites museum visitors to become a part of the creative process.

The Museum of Contemporary Art's (MOCA, 台北當代藝術館) newest installment, Duologue: Exhibition by Lee Mingwei and Tse Su-mei (複音:李明維、謝素梅雙個展), shows 16 works of art created by two internationally renowned artists.

Taiwan-born Lee Mingwei (李明維) has had solo exhibitions at museums and galleries in Europe, the US and Australia. He now lives and works in New York. Tse Su-mei (謝素梅) represented Luxembourg at the 2003 Venice Biennale and won the prestigious Golden Lion award. Both draw upon their Asian heritage and their experience of living abroad to raise questions of identity and place.

Like much contemporary art, their work is interactive, and allows viewers to become part of the creation process. As part of an ongoing performance and installation project called The Dinner Project, Lee randomly selected five museumgoers to join him for dinner in the art space after the museum closed. Dinner was served in a traditional Japanese room. In this project, Lee has been using food to build trust and intimacy in an effort to transform the museum's public space into a more personal realm.

Three of Lee's other works - The Living Room Project, The Letter Writing Project and Fabric of Memory - also use objects provided by the public to create art. According to the curator Iris Huang (黃舒屏), "all these spaces serve as a 'passenger's lounge,' which preserves and blends together travelers' thoughts and memories."

While Lee's work investigates travel and space, Tse infuses her work with sound. In her video installation l'Echo, Tse alters images of herself so that she appears to play the cello in the vastness of a mountain landscape, highlighting harmony between nature and humans.

In Son Pour Insomniaques, or Sound for Insomniacs, Tse records cats purring and combines the sounds with images meant to relax viewers and sooth anxiety.

Though Tse focuses on aural sensations to create her works, she is also interested in space as it relates to the identity of an individual or culture. The neon installation Dong Xi Nan Bei (E, W, S, N) forces viewers to consider their own subjectivity, partiality and self-centeredness.

Proposition de Detour brings the viewer back to themes of travel with a Persian carpet, 9m in diameter, emblazoned with flora and fauna has been cut to resemble a labyrinth. Like a traveler discovering different cultures of the world, the installation provides a new discovery with every step.

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