National Portrait Gallery presents Lee Mingwei’s《Sonic Blossom》

Supported by the Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), the National Portrait Gallery will present the critically acclaimed performance piece “Sonic Blossom” by Taiwan’s artist Lee Mingwei as part of the museum’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The participatory artwork, the latest iteration of the museum’s “IDENTIFY” series, will provide visitors with the opportunity to receive “the gift of song” in the Portrait Gallery’s Great Hall. This marks the first time Sonic Blossom—or any work by Lee—will be exhibited in Washington, D.C. Performances will take place from April 5 to April 29, 2018, Thursdays through Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., in the historic Great Hall.

In Sonic Blossom a singer wearing a custom-designed gown will approach museumgoers with the question “May I give you the gift of song?” Upon accepting the gift, visitors will move to the Great Hall to hear a performance of one of five lieder by Franz Schubert.

Lee developed the idea for this project while caring for his mother, who was recovering from surgery. Inspired by the solace they both found while listening to Schubert’s artistic songs, he thought of offering visitors the “gift” of the lieder as a way to provide them with a moment of catharsis, joy and connection.

Sonic Blossom was originally commissioned in 2013 for the inauguration of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in South Korea. Since then, the work has toured worldwide to Auckland (New Zealand), Boston, Frankfurt (Germany), Montreal, New York, Seoul (South Korea), Singapore, Sydney, Taipei (Taiwan) and Tokyo. Sonic Blossom will be performed at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in October 2018 following its presentation at the National Portrait Gallery.

For more information please visit website at http://npg.si.edu/sonic-blossom