Taiwanese artist Lee Mingwei creates art that extends beyond the traditional canvas. As the centerpiece of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland’s 50th anniversary celebration, You Are Not A Stranger explores the complexity of human connection through a series of interactive artistic experiences. “I think all of Mingwei’s work is designed to establish a mechanism for us that shapes our behavior,” says MOCA’s executive director Jill Snyder. “He designs all of his work so that when you leave the museum, you’re taking something away.” We explore three of his works before the exhibit opens March 15.
On select days, sidle up to an isolated bench and a locally trained soloist will serenade you with one of five German operatic love songs. “It’s a direct song, targeted to this one individual in the context of a public setting,” says Snyder. “This creates an intense moment of intimacy and exchange between these strangers."
The Moving Garden
Featuring a rotating collection of 100 Gerbera daisies on a 45-foot granite table, this installation challenges visitors to take a flower and make a detour on your route home to give it to a stranger. “The idea is that, by changing our patterns, we have encounters that may be unexpected,” Synder says. “The art is about the experience itself.”
The Mending Project
A tailor will mend your tattered garments with more than 100 colors of thread to create a growing collection of clothing that remains on display through July 28. “Imagine, over three or four months, 200 articles of clothing are attached to the wall,” says Snyder. “That web also becomes a visual expression of this community.”