Since its 2013 premier and tour across Asia, Sonic Blossom took new form at the MFA in its US debut. Throughout the galleries, a costumed opera soloist invited visitors to receive the personal gift of song. Lee describes the experience of being chosen as “like a butterfly landing on your shoulder,” a serendipitous moment to embrace while it lasts. He writes:

While taking care of my mother, I found great beauty and comfort in Schubert’s Lieder. Through the singers selected for this project, I hope to share this beauty with you who have come to visit this gallery. If offered one of these songs as a gift, please accept the encounter and allow the experience to transform you.

This journal documents the 30-day experience of Sonic Blossom at the MFA from March 11 to April 9, 2015, as it was presented in the William I. Koch Gallery and Charles C. Cunningham Gallery. Sonic Blossom was made possible by the Museum Council Artist in Residency Program Fund. Performance Art at the MFA is supported by Lorraine Bressler.

The images and text come from project participants, including museum staff and visitors, who, over a short period of time, became enraptured with Lee’s simple gesture of giving a gift. The journal is organized by date, not author. Responses range from in the moment accounts to meditative reflections.

Here you will find highlights from the journal. To view a full copy, please contact the Museum Council office at 

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

Below: Slideshow photo credits include Raissa Bretana, Barrie Lindsay, Jen Mergel, Lee Mingwei, and Lukas Schooler

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