Grey Projects is proud to announce the launch of Boring Donkey Songs, a collection of poems and writings by Singapore Cultural Medallion recipient and winner of the Joseph Balestier Award for the Freedom of Art 2016, Lee Wen.
Join Lee Wen and us on Dec 2nd (4-6pm) as we celebrate the launch of this long-awaited book!
About Boring Donkey Songs:
Boring Donkey Songs is a compilation of Lee Wen’s writings, poetry, and lyrics from Facebook, Soundcloud and other platforms from 2013 to 2016.
While not considering himself a writer by profession, Lee Wen updates his Facebook page daily with his thoughts and feelings on occurrences around him, be it his individual political philosophies or his own struggles with Parkinson’s disease. Boring Donkey Songs also provides crucial records and accounts of Singaporean art history. Lee frequently alludes to vital, unforgettable moments in our short history, such as the controversial 10-year ban of performance art and forum theatre; artists and professionals who have left an indelible mark on our artistic developments such as Josef Ng, Helina Chan and Juliana Yasin; as well as recounts of his own struggles experienced as an artist in Singapore.
This book serves as a record of Lee’s frustrations and triumphs portrayed in an almost anti-poem sense, where his writings emulate the sense of a poem, but without its traditional elements. Chapters are divided by year starting from 2013, and are organised in chronological sequence by month and date of material.
About Lee Wen:
Lee Wen (b. 1957) is a Singaporean multidisciplinary artist working on social identity themes. After leaving a banking career to enroll at LASALLE College of the Arts, Lee graduated with a Masters of Fine Art in 2006. Best known for his Yellow Man series of work, Lee is one of the pioneers of Performance Art in Singapore.
Lee Wen relies on the strategic deployment of visual, kinesthetic symbols and signs in his works. Through various constructed personas, his works allow visitors an insight into his roles as an artist. Lee has been exploring different strategies of time-based and performance art since 1989. Lee’s work has been strongly motivated by social investigations as well as inner psychological directions using art to interrogate stereotypical perceptions of culture and society.
Lee Wen’s essays, texts and investigations are an important reference, not only for Singaporean and Asian artists, but also for Performance art scholars and researchers worldwide.
Beyond his performance art, Lee is a multidisciplinary artist. To him, all his work regardless of medium is about conveying a message to the audience by means of composing a picture, image or scene. Faced with the obstacle of battling with Parkinson’s disease, the artist’s body movements are increasingly limited, thus large paintings and drawings have become a feat to him. The gestures of marking and drawing lines across the blank spaces, the very act of painting and drawing is akin to a performance in itself. Despite these challenges, his two-dimensional works convey an overwhelming sense of optimism and perseverance.
Lee Wen is a contributing member of The Artists Village of Singapore and participated in the Black Market international performance collective. Lee is also co-organiser of R.I.T.E.S. – Rooted in the Ephemeral Speak (2009), a platform to support and develop performance art practices, discourse, infrastructure and audiences in Singapore. In 2003, Lee spearheaded the Future of Imagination international performance art event, seeing the value of having an annual gathering of international artists in Singapore, to share a continuing interest in the cultural constructs of identity.
In 2005, Lee Wen was awarded the Cultural Medallion for his contributions to the development of Contemporary Art in Singapore and he recently won the Joseph Balestier Award for the Freedom of Art in 2016.