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Wu Chi-Tsung and Sun Xun in Sonic Blossom & Buddha10 reloaded

The MAO presents, in collaboration with the Conservatorio “Giuseppe Verdi”, Turin, and the Taipei Representative Office in Italy, the Italian première of the performance piece Sonic Blossom by the artist LEE Mingwei.

From May 5 to June 4, 2023, Sonic Blossom will be performed at MAO, creating a dialogue with the museum visitors, the works in the permanent collection, and the temporary exhibition Buddha10. A fragmented display on Buddhist visual evolution.

Selected and trained by LEE Mingwei in collaboration with music professor Erik Battaglia, seven singers from the Conservatorio “Giuseppe Verdi”, will alternate in the museum’s galleries for five weeks. The singer will choose one visitor from among all those present and offer him or her a gift of a song of Schubert’s Lieder. If the visitor accepts the gift, he or she will be guided to the Salone Mazzonis and the performance will begin. The performances depend on visitor participation and will be held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3–5pm; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11am–1pm and from 3–5pm.

The idea for Sonic Blossom developed out of LEE’s deeply personal experience: “Sonic Blossom came into existence while I was caring for my mother as she recuperated from surgery. We found great comfort in listening to Franz Schubert’s Lieder. These songs came as an unexpected gift to us, one that soothed us both and clearly helped with her healing. At another level, seeing my own mother weak and ill made her (and my) mortality suddenly very real; ageing, disease and death were no longer abstractions to me, but immediate and present. One day she—and I—will be gone. Like Schubert’s Lieder, our own lives are brief, but all the more beautiful because of this.”

With its capacity to generate a profound connection between two complete strangers, the participatory performance piece Sonic Blossom is a transformative gift to museum visitors, a moving invitation to trust and self-awareness.

The Japanese gardens will host a new video by Wu Chi-Tsung titled Drawing Studies—MAO Bodhissatva Guanyin, Ming—Ging Dynasty, which was made filming the work by the same name in the permanent collection, and a new commission by Sun Xun.