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Our Labyrinth For Grace by Lee Mingwei 

Recurring event see all

Saturday, October 8 @ 12:00 pm Sunday, October 9 @ 12:00 am

Grace Cathedral’s 2022 Artist in Residence is the phenomenal New York and Paris-based Lee Mingwei. Lee creates participatory installations, infused with beauty and ritual, where strangers can explore issues of trust, intimacy, and self-awareness. Lee’s work has been shown internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and Tate Modern in London. In the spring of 2024, the de Young Museum will present a retrospective of his work. 

The culmination of his residency will be Our Labyrinth For Grace, an epic twelve-hour performance by three dancers, with introductory music by the Men of the cathedral’s Choir of Men and Boys, and a finale by organist Susan Jane Matthews where you can come and go from noon to midnight to see the progress.  

Our Labyrinth For Grace was inspired by Lee’s visit to a Buddhist temple in Myanmar, where he saw volunteers sweeping the pathways quietly and slowly. It was a gift they were giving to the community, but also to themselves — to be able to perform a ritual of cleansing but also to make a clear path for visitors to walk on.  

This is Lee’s first project that is traditionally what people understand as a performance. In it, a single dancer appears with a broom and slowly sweeps a pile of rice into labyrinthian patterns for an hour and a half, before the next dancer takes the first’s place. Although the dancers sweep the rice with a broom, they are not clearing a path but creating and destroying patterns in the exact moment when each happens. It is a dance of space and time.  

You can help bring the beauty of Lee Mingwei’s visionary work to life for culture lovers, art enthusiasts of all ages, and a diverse community of supporters by becoming an Artist in Residence sponsor.

Performers 

Jean-Gabriel Manolis, dancer 
Aya Sone, dancer 
Wu Cheng-Lung, dancer 
Men of the Choir of Men and Boys 
Susan Jane Matthews, organist 

Experience Our Labyrinth For Grace 

Attendance is by timed entry, and we recommend that you arrive 15 minutes before the time on your ticket. You are welcome to stay as long as you like and to come and go throughout the day and evening. The event starts at noon with introductory music by the Men of the cathedral’s Choir of Men and Boys followed by Dancer One. At 1:30 pm Dancer Two replaces Dancer One. At 2:45 pm Dancer Three replaces Dancer Two. This repeats every one hour and fifteen minutes, until 11:45 pm when the evening ends with a finale by organist Susan Jane Matthews. 

For more about Lee’s residency, visit gracecathedral.org/air2022

Watch Lee Mingwei: Our Labyrinth, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2017

About Lee Mingwei 

Born in Taiwan in 1964 and currently living in Paris and New York City, Lee creates participatory installations, where strangers can explore issues of trust, intimacy, and self-awareness. His projects are often open-ended scenarios for everyday interaction, and take on different forms with the involvement of participants and change during the course of an exhibition. The projects also often express a sense of sacredness, ritual, and beauty. Lee received his BFA at California College of the Arts  and an MFA from Yale University in 1997, and has held solo exhibitions internationally including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Mori Art Museum, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art and has been featured in biennales in Venice, Lyon, Liverpool, Taipei, Sydney, Whitney, and Asia Pacific Triennials. In the spring of 2024, the de Young Museum will present a retrospective of his work. 

About the Performers 

Jean-Gabriel Manolis is a French dancer-performer born in 1986. He collaborated with Lee Mingwei in 2017 to take part in the performances of Our Labyrinth at Centre Pompidou (Paris, France). Apart from performing the piece, he provided artistic advice and supported the new performers at Museum MACAN (Jakarta, Indonesia) in 2018, at Gropius Bau (Berlin, Germany) in 2020 and more recently at Tate Modern (London, UK) in 2022. He also performed Lee’s When Beauty Visits at the Venice Art Biennale in 2017. He has also contributed to the in-depth conversation on Our Labyrinth with Kathryn Weir, Director of the Department of Cultural Development, Centre Pompidou, and Lee, which was then published in the book “9 Stories,” providing continuous support and guidance to Lee Studio and Lee in their understanding of the project and dance. He recently was invited to Tate Late Talk with the artist and the curator, while Our Labyrinth was staged at the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern. 

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Aya Sone started taking ballet class at the age of four. She moved to Germany in 2005 to join the ballet company of Oper Chemnitz where she danced the title role of Coppelia among other solo roles. While in the ballet company, she grew her interest in contemporary dance and continued her training. She then moved to Staatstheater Braunschweig, Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz and Landesbühnen Sachsen, worked with a great number of choreographers and danced different styles before she became a freelance dancer in 2015. In spring 2021, she performed Our Labyrinth for the first time at Museum Villa Stuck in Munich where Lee Mingwei’s exhibition ‘Geschenke und Rituale’ was held for four months. Since then Sone performed it at Intermediatheque in Tokyo as a part of Taiwan Now (2021) and at Tate Modern in London (2022). Now she is based in Munich and actively working as a dancer internationally. Her work covers extensive art forms, which include projects in the freelance dance scene, opera productions, performances in museums, educational and experimental projects and interdisciplinary collaborative works of all kinds.  

Wu Cheng-Lung worked for Taiwan-U-Theatre Performing Arts Group from 2009 to 2013. During this period, he studied Taichi Dowing, Chinese martial art, Chinese drum, meditation, Gurdjieff movements, Mevlevi Sema Ceremony, and Jerzy Grotowski’s physical training. For these four years, he accumulated more than 100 performances and toured in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Arabia, India, etc… Since 2013, he has been a freelance performing artist. He has performed Our Labyrinth at Taipei Fine Arts Museum and Museum of National Taipei University of Education (MoNTUE) in Taiwan (2015 and 2016), Center Georges Pompidou, France (2017), and Tate Modern, UK (2022). 

Give to Grace

Your gift helps Grace Cathedral realize its vision: a spiritually alive world. There are many ways to give including texting “GRACE” to 76278 from your phone!

Become a Cultural Member

Be one of the first to join this new program and enjoy discounts on a robust schedule of arts, music, cultural offerings, and more! Plus, you’ll also support Grace Cathedral in its visionary activities and initiatives. Learn more.