Following its international tour in Asia, Lee Mingwei’s Sonic Blossom takes new form in its US debut at the MFA.

Lee is internationally renowned for projects that prompt connections and invite trust, creativity, and self-awareness. He also has a long history with Boston, first exhibiting at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1999.

For this participatory installation—the first extended exhibition of performance in MFA history—Lee will audition and train Boston-area soloists to offer spontaneous one-on-one performances of short Lieder (art songs) by Franz Schubert. Wearing a custom-designed costume, the singer will approach one visitor at a time throughout the galleries. If the visitor chooses to accept a song, he or she will be guided to a special chair and music stand in the William I. Koch Gallery. The artist describes the experience of being chosen as “like a butterfly landing on your shoulder,” a serendipitous moment to embrace and remember.

For their collaboration on this presentation, the artist gratefully acknowledges Kelima K. for her custom costume design, Eric Sparks for his furniture fabrication, and Timothy Steele for piano accompaniment. He especially wishes to thank the performing soloists: Teresa Blume, Junhan Choi, James Dargan, Hailey Fuqua, Beibei Guan, Abigail Krawson, Katie O’Reilly, and Christina Pecce.

Above: Lee Mingwei, Sonic Blossom, 2013.  “Lee Mingwei: Sonic Blossom” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, March, 2015.


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Lee Mingwei’s Sonic Blossom is supported by the Museum Council Artist in Residency Program Fund.

Performance Art at the MFA is supported by Lorraine Bressler.