THE MENDING PROJECT
Visitors are invited to participate in The Mending Project by bringing a textile that needs mending. During the time it takes to mend the item, the visitor, and a volunteer sit together and talk. Once mended, the visitor may take the item or leave it at the ICA for the duration of the exhibition as part of this growing, visible network of small moments of connection and repair.
The installation also includes furniture designed by Mingwei as well as approximately 1,200 spools of thread that he arranged in response to the specific qualities of this gallery’s architecture. For more than 20 years, Lee has created projects like this one that frame one-to-one interaction and draw attention to the beauty and layered meanings within an everyday activity.
Menders will be available during ICA public hours, except 1–2 pm.
Please collect your mended garment from the ICA between September 12 and 15, 2018, during ICA public hours. If not collected during this period your garment will be donated.
The Mending Project, 2009–2018. Mixed media interactive installation: table, chairs, thread, fabric items, and participation. Furniture construction: Eric Stepp. Collection of Rudy Tseng, New Taipei City, Taiwan.
Gallery 4 – True Farr Luck Gallery
“The gesture of mending for me has different levels of meaning. The most obvious is that a piece of clothing is broken and needs repair. It could also be in a completely different kind of conversation about how the world is today. There are so many things that are broken in the world now, with politics, the climate, relationships between people, between countries. Can we do something about it?
I know I am just an artist and all I can do at this moment is something close to me. So let me start with our second skin: the clothes that we are wearing.” —Lee Mingwei
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AS AN ARTIST?
Everyone has a story—I am curious to learn of these stories, especially from strangers. It’s a continuous search of an encounter, of learning about the differences and similarities of people, including their complexities and beauty.
ARE THERE DETAILS ABOUT THE WORK YOU’RE SHOWING IN DECLARATION THAT YOU’D ESPECIALLY LIKE AUDIENCES TO PAY ATTENTION TO?
It is important that the participant shares their personal story with the mender while the mender mends their clothes: Please try to experience and participate without thinking too much.
WHAT DOES THE WORD “DECLARATION” MEAN TO YOU?
Unlike a tailor, who is trying to hide the fact that the fabric was once damaged, my mending is done with the idea of celebrating the repair and the history of this textile article—as if to say, “something good was done here, a gift was given, this fabric is even better than before.”
Born 1964, Taiwan; Lives between New York and Paris, France
Lee Mingwei is an interdisciplinary artist who creates participatory installations that explore issues of trust, intimacy, and self-awareness. His projects are often open-ended scenarios that initiate everyday interaction and evolve over the course of an exhibition through audience participation.
Lee received his BFA from California College of Arts and his MFA from Yale University. Select solo exhibitions: National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC (2016); National Gallery in Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2016); The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (2015); Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan (2014); Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (2012); Brooklyn Museum (2011); Montalvo Art Center in Saratoga, California (2009); Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst in Cologne, Germany (2005); Rice University Art Gallery in Houston, Texas (2002); and Lombard Freid Fine Arts in New York, NY (1997). Select group exhibitions: Villa Medici in Rome, Italy (2017); Honolulu Biennial (2017); Moscow Museum of Modern Art in Moscow, Russia (2016); Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota (2015); The National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, Japan (2014); The Smart Museum of Art in Chicago, Illinois (2012); Lyon Biennial in France (2009); Queens Museum of Art in New York (2007); Arnolfini Center of Arts in Bristol, United Kingdom (2005); and the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana, Slovenia (2002). Collections include: The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California, Queens Museum of Art, New York, Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, and Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio. Select awards: Graduate of Distinction, California College of Arts and Joan Mitchell Grant Award Graduate of Distinction, California College of Arts.