Luminous Depths exhibition by Lee Mingwei at Peranakan Museum

Luminous Depths

So I was invited to check out a new exhibition at the Peranakan Museum called Luminous Depths. There's nothing Peranakan about it as you can see from the picture. It's a good idea to have non-Peranakan related exhibitions to entice locals to visit the museums occasionally.

By the way, all National Heritage Board museums now offer free entries to Singaporeans and permanent residents.

Luminous Depths is a contemporary art installation by Taiwanese Lee Mingwei who's currently living in New York. He has staged various solo exhibitions in other museums such as MoMA.

Luminous Depths
This art installation invites visitors to throw ceramic pieces from the third floor down. They are actually cups and plates glued together. The artist says it's to remove their utility. Each piece cost $5 which isn't too expensive — I recommend choosing the biggest piece to get your money's worth.

Luminous Depths
On the third floor, there's a platform that stops whatever music that's playing when you step on it. There you throw it into a huge basketball-like hoop (almost) and wait for it to shatter onto the floor. The bottom will be boarded up — there aren't going to be any killer litter.

Then you contemplate about life, or about what the hell that had just happened, or what is art.

Supposedly, they will be reusing the shards for other purposes. And the money goes to buying new stuff for the museum.


Here's a sketch of the art installation. The inspiration for the piece was from an old house Mingwei used to stay in Taiwan. It had a sky roof also, and there were chickens running amok on the third floor (what a coincidence!).

Luminous Depths
This is the artist Lee Mingwei. Interestingly, he said that he takes around 2 years to come up with his projects. I forgot to ask him what he does during his spare time. Oh, he swims. Ideas come from swimming too, he says.

Luminous Depths exhibition runs from 21 June to 22 September 2013.

The Peranakan Museum is within walking distance from City Hall MRT station.

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