Jason Wee in “RESIDUAL: Lee Wen & Jason Wee”

15 Sep 2023

RESIDUAL: Lee Wen & Jason Wee presented by The Institutum, provides a unique look into Singaporean artist Lee Wen’s artistic journey, through the lens of his friendship and artistic kinship with Yavuz artist, Jason Wee. Curated by Karin Oen, the exhibition features works by and about Lee that have previously not been seen in Singapore and highlights the multifaceted aspects of his multidisciplinary practice, stemming from their shared residency experience in Saitama, Japan in 2013.

Lee was a pioneer among a generation who defined and shaped performance art in Asia, notably within Singapore. Collaborating with fellow artists from Singapore, he reimagined the fundamentals of academic art, expanding its language and methodologies to encompass socially engaged practice. The two artists come from separate social spheres and have distinct approaches to art making And prior to the experiences, were not collaborators or close friends. Yet, Wee’s artistic work is often embedded with elements of his poetry, and relates to the centrality of writing and language in his art—an aspect of art practice that he and Lee shared in common.

and perhaps Lee and Wee’s “art making contributed to what the time together meant for the both of them”, as described by Oen.

Through the presentation from Wee and Lee, it reflects the friendship and the creative experimentation and incubation through the space of artists’ residency, recognising the labour of artistic community-building and the many stresses and compromises as a practising artist.

RESIDUAL: Lee Wen & Jason Wee runs until 15 October 2023.

Images: installation views of RESIDUAL: Lee Wen & Jason Wee. Courtesy of the estate of Lee Wen, Jason Wee and The Institutum. Photos by Jonathan Tan.