Grey Projects

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Mirrors in the Dark by Lee Wen [2014]

[26.03.14 — 10.05.14]

We are pleased to announce Mirrors in the Dark, Lee Wen’s moving new suite of works on paper. Using imaginative self portraits as a point of departure Lee revises his notions of selfhood with a vengeance. His sources are characteristically eclectic and deeply embodied, celebrating an openness to life's experiences, in self-consciously bold colours.

The works draw on real photographs as well as highly expressionistic trajectories. The works are always rooted in Lee’s need to engage with other artists, society and the world. Throughout his art practice Lee explores issues of justice, the environment, freedom, as well as relationships in family and society. The life that is depicted through his self portraits is riven with contradictory images, not unlike mirrored images glowing in the dark.

Lee Wen (b. 1957) is a Singaporean multidisciplinary artist working on social identity themes. After leaving a banking career to enrol 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 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’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.

Lee is a contributing member in The Artists Village of Singapore and had been participating in 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 was awarded the Cultural Medallion for his contributions to the development of Contemporary Art in Singapore.