Media Advisory: Press open house with the artist for the participatory performance, “Sonic Blossom”

WHAT:          Press open house with the artist for the participatory performance, “Sonic Blossom”

WHEN:          Thursday, April 5

                        11:45 a.m. arrival recommended


WHERE:       Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery
Eighth and F streets N.W.

Use F Street lobby entrance

Great Hall

WHO:            Kim Sajet, director, National Portrait Gallery

Lee Mingwei, artist

Dorothy Moss, curator of painting and sculpture, National Portrait Gallery

Leslie Ureña, associate curator of photographs, National Portrait Gallery

On its first presentation in Washington, D.C., the National Portrait Gallery presents the critically acclaimed performance piece “Sonic Blossom” by 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 chance to receive “the gift of song” in the Portrait Gallery’s Great Hall. A professional singer, roaming the galleries in a custom-designed gown, will approach individual museumgoers and offer to share one of five lieder (songs) by Franz Schubert. Performances will take place from April 5 to April 29, Thursdays through Sundays (from noon to 4 p.m.).

Lee (b. Taiwan, 1964), currently based in New York and Paris, received a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University in 1997. His art has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Auckland Art Gallery; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, among others, and has participated in numerous biennials.


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National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story.

The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Website: Follow the museum on social media at @NPGFacebookYouTubeInstagramand Tumblr.

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