Tens of thousands of flowers will be gifted between strangers as part of Taiwanese-American artist Lee Mingwei’s The Moving Garden, opening at the National Gallery of Victoria on 15 October 2016. Lee is internationally recognised as one of the leading creators of art which invites audience participation, and this acclaimed artwork will create unexpected encounters for visitors to the gallery.
Lee says of the work, ‘In this project I present a space with beautiful, fresh flowers. Museum guests are invited to take one of these flowers with them when they leave the museum, if they will agree to do two things: first, to make a detour from their intended route when leaving the museum for their next destination; second, along this detour, to give the flower to a stranger who they feel would benefit from this unexpected act of generosity.’
Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said, ‘Lee’s artwork inspires contemplation of social themes like trust and self-awareness, by encouraging one-on-one interactions between strangers. The Moving Garden will also challenge the traditional relationship between art and audience, with each flower picked adding the story of the participant to that of the artwork.’
Lee Mingwei received an MFA from Yale University in 1997, and has held solo exhibitions internationally including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Leading Melbourne florist Flowers Vasette has partnered with the NGV to provide 1,000 fresh flowers for each of the 106 days of the exhibition, totalling 106,000 flowers.
This exhibition is part of the inaugural Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts.