Lose yourself in the work of influential Australian Chinese artist Lindy Lee, as the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) presents the most comprehensive survey of the artist’s work to date, spanning early works to more recent large-scale installations and sculptures.
Curated by MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, the exhibition draws on three decades of Lee’s work showcasing painting, photography, sculpture, installation and public art. The show encompasses her early photocopy artworks and wax paintings that reflect on Western art history through to recent large-scale installations and sculptures inspired by Buddhist philosophies, as well as much-loved public artworks and commissions.
Using a spectacular array of processes which include flinging molten bronze, burning paper and allowing the rain to transform surfaces, Lee draws on her Australian and Chinese heritage to develop works that engage with the history of art, cultural authenticity, personal identity and the cosmos. Key influences are the philosophies of Daoism and Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism, which explore the connections between humanity and nature.
Exhibition highlights include a new installation, Moonlight Deity, commissioned especially for this MCA exhibition; a key early work reinstalled that signals the beginning of her interest in Buddhism, No Up, No Down, I Am Ten Thousand Things; a new titanium screen work; and an extended version of her flung bronze sculptural installations. A number of works are drawn from the MCA Collection, alongside significant loans from public and private collections, and early works from the artist’s own collection.
Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE first visited the artist’s studio in 1994, on her first trip to Australia and several years before she became Director of the MCA. The two have worked closely together collaborating on all stages of this project.
“Lindy has had a long association with the MCA, with the first works entering the collection in 1995, through to a major presence in the opening exhibition of the expanded MCA, Marking Time, in 2012,” said Macgregor.
“A major survey bringing together all aspects of her work in Sydney is timely, she is an artist who weaves together her personal experience of living between two cultures to create highly evocative works which are especially relevant in today’s Australia.”
Lindy Lee is one of the most respected contemporary artists working in Australia today. She was born in 1954 in Brisbane to parents who emigrated from China. Working across a range of disciplines including painting, sculpture, installation and public art, Lee draws on her Australian and Chinese heritage to develop works that engage with the history of art, cultural authenticity, personal identity and the cosmos. Key influences are the philosophies of Daoism and Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism, which explore the connections between humanity and nature.
With a practice spanning over four decades, Lee has exhibited widely in Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and USA. She is represented in numerous major public and private collections, including Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art and University of Queensland Art Museum.
In recent years, Lee’s practice has expanded into the public realm. She has created a series of significant public artworks in Australia and internationally, including The Life of Stars, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; The Garden of Cloud and Stone, Chinatown Public Domain, Sydney; and The Life of Stars – The Tenderness of Rain, Province Midtown Cultural Centre, Zhengzhou, China. In 2018 the artist was awarded a prestigious international commission to create an iconic gateway work for New York’s Chinatown district.
Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 140 George Street, The Rocks (Sydney)
Exhibition: 2 October 2020 – 28 February 2021
For more information, visit: www.mca.com.au for details.
Image: Lindy Lee in front of The Life of Stars, 2018. Installation view, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. Stainless steel. Image courtesy the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney and Singapore © the artist – photo by Saul Steed