The Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) welcomes international artist Lee Mingwei and his Sonic Blossom free public art installation, a gift of song that audiences can experience at AGSA everyday throughout November as part of Oz Asia Festival 2019. Sonic Blossom will see singers perform one of German composer Schubert’s five Lieder (songs made for solo voice) to gallery visitors.
This presentation features nine South Australian classically trained singers ranging in voice and age, who were successful in auditions held earlier this year and selected by the artist. During exhibition hours, the singer meanders through the gallery, finding a visitor and offering them the gift of song. This happens sporadically both in time and location – the folding and unfolding of a Sonic Blossom ¬ – a concept that is visualised through the singer’s ceremonial costume which, for AGSA’s presentation has been made by celebrated Sydney designer Akira Isogawa.
Originally created for the opening of South Korea’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Sonic Blossom has engaged audiences at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and Museum MACAN in Jakarta. In his practice, artist Lee Mingwei invites his audiences to explore notions of trust, intimacy and self-awareness through immersive gallery experiences that look at the everyday experiences like eating, sleeping, walking, conversation and song.
Of Sonic Blossom, the artist says “Like Schubert’s Lieder, our own lives are brief, but all the more beautiful because of this. I would like to use these songs as a transformative gift to the visitors who encounter these moving Lieder.” Sonic Blossom is presented in partnership with OzAsia Festival 2019 and is supported by the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music and AGSA’s Contemporary Collectors. Source and photos Courtesy of Art Gallery of South Australia.