Walking through his Republic of Daydreams

Lee Wen, Strange Fruit, 2003/ SAM Collection

It's been a long time since I've been to a museum exhibition opening like that of artist Lee Wen's retrospective at SAM. I've been thinking about the words to describe the energy. Sure, there was a lot of the usual hi-hello-howareyou going, but it didn't distract as much.

I think the word is "real". There was something absolutely real and grounded about the artist who was being recognised and celebrated that evening; and about his art. Some of it perhaps owing to the immediacy of performance art, and its seeming nakedness - the artist's body marking time and space. There was also a real sense of collaboration, camaraderie when Lee Wen, at the end of a performance in the SAM courtyard, poured the pail of yellow paint over Jason Lim - an embrace between fellow artists.

In this sense, the better word may be, as the artist or curator have chosen for the show, "lucid".

I'm still digesting the 2 galleries J and I had quickly surveyed. It's been a long time since I've wanted to see and learn more after an opening. So we'll have to go back.

Friends, like us, you have till 10 June to visit SAM for the Lucid Dreams in the Reverie of the Real.


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