Lost City and Other Stories is the 3rd solo exhibition of Singapore-based artist Michael Lee. It features the artist’s ongoing investigation of the representation of the built environment, particularly the contexts and implications of its lost elements. In this exhibition, he focuses on the relations between city and the imagination, history and story, through a selection of objects and diagrams. The exhibition opens in Hanart Square, Hong Kong, on 23 Jul 2010 and continues till 21 Aug 2010.
Three points make the loss of buildings or building parts a peculiar issue. Firstly, unlike small objects such as a ring or handphone, architectural structures, fixtures and fittings, which are apparently large, immobile and lasting, give the impression that they will be around forever. Secondly, because they’re inanimate, they’re not expected to wander off by themselves, so when disasters strike, they usually have no means to escape. Thirdly, like consumer goods and fashion accessories, they’re subject to tides, times and tastes that vary and conflict, resulting in them falling out of favor over time, or in no time.
On show are four sets of work that ponder over lost buildings or lost building parts: National Columbarium of Singapore, an installation of 45 scaled models of lost Singapore monuments that referred to the city-state by name; The World Unexposition, a growing set of paper models of unbuilt buildings the world over; Second-Hand City, a set of prints of architectural designs, ideas and systems concerned less about protecting the physical environment than with feeding the mental environment, and Monuments to Everything Else, a series of book sculptures that meditate on individual architectural fixtures and fittings.
About the Artist
Michael Lee (b. 1972, Singapore) received his Master and Bachelor of Communication Studies from Nanyang Technological University in 2001 and 1997 respectively. He is an artist and curator based in Singapore. His research addresses representations of the built environment, especially the contexts and implications of its lost elements. His observations are mainly transformed into objects, diagrams, situations, curations or essays. His exhibition/festival participations include The 3rd Guangzhou Triennial 2008 (Independent Projects section; Guangdong Museum of Art), The 2005 World Exposition (Singapore Pavilion; Nagoya) and International Film & Video Association Film Award & Festival 1997 (Winner, Experimental Category; Texas). His curatorial projects include Between, Beside, Beyond: Daniel Libeskind's Reflections and Key Works 1989-2014 (Singapore Art Museum, 2007). His accolades include the Young Artist Award (Visual Arts) 2005, conferred by the National Arts Council, Singapore.