Sonic BlossomBuddha10 reloaded

Sonic BlossomBuddha10 reloaded

MAO Asian Art Museum, Turin

Courtesy of MAO Asian Art Museum, Turin.

April 27, 2023
Sonic Blossom & Buddha10
May 6–September 3, 2023
MAO Asian Art Museum, Turin
via San Domenico, 11
10122 Torino
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm
Instagram / Facebook

Artists: LEE Mingwei, Francesco Simeti, Qiu Zhijie, Wu Chi-Tsung, Sun Xun, Valentina Ciardelli and Anna Astesano.

The MAO presents, in collaboration with the Conservatorio “Giuseppe Verdi”, Turin, and the Taipei Representative Office in Italy, the Italian première of the performance piece Sonic Blossom by the artist LEE Mingwei.

From May 5 to June 4, 2023, Sonic Blossom will be performed at MAO, creating a dialogue with the museum visitors, the works in the permanent collection, and the temporary exhibition Buddha10. A fragmented display on Buddhist visual evolution.

Selected and trained by LEE Mingwei in collaboration with music professor Erik Battaglia, seven singers from the Conservatorio “Giuseppe Verdi”, will alternate in the museum’s galleries for five weeks. The singer will choose one visitor from among all those present and offer him or her a gift of a song of Schubert’s Lieder. If the visitor accepts the gift, he or she will be guided to the Salone Mazzonis and the performance will begin. The performances depend on visitor participation and will be held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3–5pm; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11am–1pm and from 3–5pm.

The idea for Sonic Blossom developed out of LEE’s deeply personal experience: “Sonic Blossom came into existence while I was caring for my mother as she recuperated from surgery. We found great comfort in listening to Franz Schubert’s Lieder. These songs came as an unexpected gift to us, one that soothed us both and clearly helped with her healing. At another level, seeing my own mother weak and ill made her (and my) mortality suddenly very real; ageing, disease and death were no longer abstractions to me, but immediate and present. One day she—and I—will be gone. Like Schubert’s Lieder, our own lives are brief, but all the more beautiful because of this.”

With its capacity to generate a profound connection between two complete strangers, the participatory performance piece Sonic Blossom is a transformative gift to museum visitors, a moving invitation to trust and self-awareness.

LEE Mingwei’s performance piece—an exhibition with no objects—is an integral part of the new iteration of Buddha10, which will reopen to the public on May 5 radically changed. The link with Mingwei’s piece is especially meaningful and profound, since one of the most important aspects of Buddhism is the practice of compassion and the gift the vibrant heart of Sonic Blossom.

The new iteration of the exhibition also features another work by LEE Mingwei: Spirit House, a video documenting the participatory installation by the same name created for the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2022. The video will be on view in the last gallery of the exhibition.

Prana, the site-specific work by Andrea Anastasio and Stefano Mancuso, will be replaced by Francesco Simeti’s Come un limone lunare: a large, theatrical installation that starts from a series of images of animals, leaves, and flowers to reflect on their perception and on the contrast between the concepts of nature and artifice.

Many of the Buddhist statues will also be substituted, including the Seated Buddha with Clasped Hands, which will be replaced by the work of the artist Qiu Zhijie, focused on the contemporary rewriting of the Sutra in different media.

The Japanese gardens will host a new video by Wu Chi-Tsung titled Drawing Studies—MAO Bodhissatva Guanyin, Ming—Ging Dynasty, which was made filming the work by the same name in the permanent collection, and a new commission by Sun Xun.

In Salone Mazzonis will be placed the statue of Buddha Seated in Dhyānamudrā, which will be restored “live” by Doneux e Soci. Visitors will be able to watch the cleaning and restoration of the work, learning first-hand about a process fundamental for a museum’s life that normally takes place behind the scenes and is accessible to few.

This space will also host the site-specific sound installation Oro—Huángjīn by the musicians and composers Valentina Ciardelli and Anna Astesano: an ascetic suite for guquin, double bass and harp in seven micro movements.

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MAO Asian Art Museum, Turin
April 27, 2023

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