Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun visited Taiwanese artist Lee Ming-wei's (李明維) interactive installation work "When Beauty Visits” in The Giardini, one of the main venues used by the 2017 Venice Biennial, on May 12. The Minister enjoyed the picturesque scenery of the quiet Scarpa-designed garden and the sound of insects while immersed in the beauty of the moment.
Paris-based Taiwanese artist Lee is one of 120 individuals and groups of artists personally invited by curator Christine Macel for the "Viva Arte Viva” main showcase of the 2017 Venice Biennial. Known for his participatory form of art, the Taiwanese artist created his new work, "When Beauty Visits,” in a garden built by legendary Italian architect Carlo Scarpa. He also prepared 4,000 beautiful presents for visitors seeking entry to the garden to help them enjoy the moment.
Upon stepping into the garden grounds, Minister Cheng also received an envelope enclosed with a gift. The only condition was that she must wait until her next encounter with "a beautiful moment” before breaking the seal and discovering what kind of gift laid within. The Minister commented that the significance of this work will spread out from Venice throughout the world, as each envelope will remind its receiver to open his or her mind and greet each beautiful new encounter.
Sitting on a wooden chair specially arranged by Lee in the garden, Minister Cheng listened to the familiar sound of insects in the fields. She then found out that the artist integrated the sound of insects with the interactive installation work because it was a sound he often heard as a child living in the suburban neighbourhood of Luzhou (蘆洲) in New Taipei.
In addition to "When Beauty Meets" at The Giardini, Minister Cheng also visited "The Mending Project," another work by Lee displayed at the venue of Arsenale.
Accompanied by Director Ping Lin (林平) of Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the Minister also toured the national pavilions of Australia, Finland, France, Japan, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. Curator Manuel Segade of the Spain Pavilion also invited the Minister to partake in the installation of "Joinus" designed by artist Jordi Colomer.