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04.02.2020, Jamal Tuschick

Lee Mingwei’s artistic practice is primarily concerned with rituals of giving and receiving. From 27 March to 7 June 2020, the Gropius Bau will present a solo exhibition by the artist, showing his installations and performances from the last three decades. Central to the exhibition is an exploration of art’s potential to be a transformative gift.

Lee Mingwei: 禮 Li, Gifts and Rituals

In Lee Mingwei’s works immaterial gifts such as song, conversation or contemplation are given and received. For many of his projects the starting point are his personal encounters, which are then transformed into installations. Seeing such experiences as moments in which time is gifted, Lee's projects reveal a fascination for the role of the host. Accordingly, in autumn 2019, the artist put out open calls looking for Berlin-based hosts to activate several of his projects. In The Living Room hosts are invited to exhibit their unique collections and in The Mending Project the menders host conversations with visitors whilst repairing their damaged items of clothing. These processes create a common space where viewers are given the opportunity to enter into exchange, and rituals of care and healing begin to unfold.

The programme In House: Artist in Residence returns artists and their creative processes to the Gropius Bau: building on the venue’s history and original identity as a decorative arts museum with numerous studios and workshops, the Gropius Bau will once again become a site for artistic creation and production.

As part of the In House: Artist in Residence programme initiated by Stephanie Rosenthal in 2018, artist and theorist Zheng Bo will succeed Wu Tsang and Otobong Nkanga in occupying a studio at the Gropius Bau for one year.


Past and future are the central parameters of his politically and scientifically informed artistic practice, in which he deals with socio-economic themes and the relationship between man and nature. At the Gropius Bau, Zheng will explore a variety of questions: How can plants, in particular in times of rapid climate change, become part of a political idea and help move away from anthropocentric notions of freedom? How can the equality of species on the planet be imagined and realised? During his residency, the artist will deepen his research in exchange with scientists and invite the public to artist talks and workshops.

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