Michael Lee (b. Lee Hong Hwee, 1972, Singapore) is an artist, curator and publisher based in Singapore. He researches urban memory and fiction, especially the contexts and implications of loss. He transforms his observations into objects, diagrams, situations, curations or texts. 

He has staged solo exhibitions at Yavuz Fine Art (Singapore, 2014), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin, 2013), Hanart TZ Gallery (Hong Kong, 2010), Baba House (Singapore, 2008) and Alliance Francaise de Singapour (Singapore, 2005). He has participated in various biennales and other international platforms: Shenzhen Sculpture (2014); Kuandu (Taipei, 2012); Asia Triennial (Manchester, 2011); Chongqing (2011); Singapore (2011); Shanghai (2010); Guangzhou Triennial (2011, 2008); city_NET Asia (Seoul, 2007); Asian Traffic (Singapore, 2005), and World Expo (Aichi, 2005). He has also exhibited in Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore (2014); NUS Museum (Singapore, 2013-15, 2007); Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2013); Witte de With (Rotterdam, 2013); Suzhou Jinji Lake Art Museum (2013); Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (Manila, 2012); Bangkok Art and Culture Center (2012); Para Site (Hong Kong, 2012, 2007); National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taichung, 2010); Taipei Fine Arts Museum (2009); and Singapore Art Museum (2014-15, 2009, 2007, 2005-06, 2004, 2001).

As the founding director of Studio Bibliothèque, which facilitates experiments in making, curating and publishing, Lee has curated exhibitions including "What It Is About When It Is About Nothing" (Mizuma Gallery, Singapore, 2015); "Hong Kong Anarchitecture Bananas: Artists Who Reclaim Space" (co-curated with Lee Chun Fung, Artist Commune, Hong Kong, 2008); and "Between, Beside, Beyond: Daniel Libeskind's Reflections and Key Works 1989-2014" (Singapore Art Museum, 2007), and edited publications like Who Cares: 16 Essays on Curating in Asia (co-edited with Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya, published by Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong, 2010), and Preoccupations: Things Artists Do Anyway (co-edited with Cornelia Erdmann, published by laiyan projects and Studio Bibliothèque, Hong Kong, 2008). 

His accolades include the APBF Signature Art Prize 2011 (People's Choice Award), conferred by the Singapore Art Museum, and the Young Artist Award (Visual Arts) 2005, conferred by the National Arts Council, Singapore. 

He received his Master and Bachelor of Communication Studies from Nanyang Technological University in 2001 and 1997 respectively. 

Michael Lee works with Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong, and iPreciation Gallery and Yavuz Gallery, both in Singapore. He has select series consigned with The Artling and Artist Pension Trust Beijing.

 

EDUCATION

2002 Certificate in Basic Creative Writing, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore

2001 Master of of Communication Studies, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore

1997 Bachelor of Communication Studies (2nd Upper Honours), NTU, Singapore

 

SELECT SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2014 "Machine For (Living) Dying In", Yavuz Fine Art, Singapore 

2013 "Michael Lee: Some Detours", Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany 

2012 "M-trospective: Michael Lee's First Decade 2001-2011", Studio Bibliothèque, Singapore 

2012 "Revision Exercise 002", Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

2010 "Lost City and Other Stories", Hanart Square and Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong

2008 "A Psychotaxonomy of Home", Baba House, Singapore

2004 "When a Body Meets a Building", Alliance Francaise de Singapour, Singapore

 

SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS & FESTIVALS

2017 "DR/OP: Beyond Boundaries", Goodman Arts Centre, Singapore

2017 "[Title To Be Confirmed]", Kunstraum Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

2017 "Listening to Architecture", National Gallery, Singapore

2017 "Confluences and Diversities in Southeast Asian Art", ION Art Gallery, Singapore 

2017 "Radio Malaya: Abridged Conservations About Art", NUS Museum, Singapore

2016 "Unlimited Space: Re-imagination of Everyday Life", starprojects, Hong Kong

2015 "Drawing as Draft", Dialogic, Singapore

2015 "VERNACULA_", NAFA Galleries 1 & 2, Singapore

2015 "Mind the Gap: Mapping the Other", National Library Board Building, Singapore

2014-15 "Once Upon This Island", Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2014 "The Part in The Story Where a Part Becomes a Part of Something Else", Witte de With, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 

2014 "[The Machine] Contemplating the Body", Singapore General Hospital Museum, Singapore

2014 "Print Lab", Grey Projects, Singapore

2014 "The 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale", OCAT Shenzhen, China 

2014 "Thinking of Landscape: Collection of Yeap Lam Yang", Institute of Contemporary Art, Singapore

2013-5 "Between Here and Nanyang: Marco Hsu's Brief History of Malayan Art", NUS Museum, Singapore

2013 "Tokyo Art Meeting (IV): Bunny Smash, Design to Touch the World", Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan

2013 "Resort", Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Bangkok, Thailand

2013 "World in Miniature: Zhang Hong and Michael Lee", Museum of Asian Art, Berlin, Germany

2013 "The Artist, the Book and the Crowd", The Substation, Singapore

2013 "Fail Again", Souterrain, Berlin, Germany

2013 "The Realm in the Mirror, the Vision out of Image", Suzhou Jinji Lake Art Museum, China 

2013 "Home Stories", Villa 102 (Former Literaturhaus), Frankfurt Am Main, Germany 

2013 "Encountering the Unknown", Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

2012 "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep: The Paradox of Choice in a Time of Anxiety", Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong

2012 "Safe Place In The Future II", Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok, Thailand

2012 "The 3rd Kuandu Biennale", Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan

2012 "Strange Faces", Valentine Willie Fine Arts, Singapore

2012 "There Can Be No Better World", Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, Manila, The Philippines

2012 "Project Glocal", Vargas Museum, Manila, The Philippines

2012 "Variable Truth", 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia

2012 "What a Wonderful World", Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan

2011-2 "The 2nd Signature Art Prize Finalists Exhibition", Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2011 "Utopias: Michael Lee and Bob Matthews", National Museum, Singapore

2011 "Change", Substation Gallery, Singapore

2011 "The 2nd Chungking Youth Art Biennale", Chungking Art Museum and Museum of Sichuan Fine Arts, Chungking

2011 "The 2nd Asia Triennial Manchester", Chinese Art Center, Manchester

2011 "The 4th Guangzhou Triennial", Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou

2011 "Imagine Malaysia", Helutrans Art Space, Singapore

2011 "Wedding", Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong

2011 "The 3rd Singapore Biennale", Old Kallang Airport, Singapore.

2010 "The 8th Shanghai Biennale", Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China

2010 "Cheong Soo Pieng: Shock of the New", The National Art Gallery, Singapore @ Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2010 "Beyond LKY", Valentine Willie Fine Arts, Singapore

2010 "At the Crossroad", National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan

2010 "Centre to Periphery", Japan Creative Centre, Singapore

2010 "Shifting Topography", Hanart Square, Hong Kong

2010 "The Problem of Asia", Chalk Horse Art Center, Sydney, Australia

2010 "Unspeaking Engagements", Lanchester Gallery, Coventry, England

2009 "Eniminiminimos: Artists who make things small II", Jendela, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

2009 "Whose Exhibition is This?", Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Singapore (with Tang Ling Nah)

2009 "Lost in the City", National Museum, Singapore

2009 "Curating Lab: 100 Objects (Remixed)", HT Contemporary Space, Singapore

2009 "Air-conditioned Recession", Valentine Willie Fine Arts, Singapore

2009 "Unspeaking Engagements", Chulalongkorn, Bangkok, Thailand

2008 "A-Z, 26 Locations to Put Everything", Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong

2008 "The 3rd Guangzhou Triennial (Independent Projects section)", Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

2008 "Greedy?", C+G Artpartment, Hong Kong

2008 "-bok", 1aspace, Hong Kong

2008 "Hong Kong Anarchitecture Bananas: Artists Who Reclaim Space", Artist Commune, Hong Kong

2008 "Eniminiminimos: Artists who make things small", Studio Bibliothèque, Hong Kong

2007 "Building Conversations: Michael Lee & Nadia Bhamadhaj", Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2007 "city_NET Asia (Singapore Pavillion)", Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea

2007 "Focus Automatically", Museum of Suzhou Art & Technology Institute, Suzhou, China

2007 "Labryinth", Art & Knowledge Space, Beijing, China

2007 "14QK: Art responds to 14K", Para/site, Hong Kong

2007 "WE", National University of Singapore Museum, Singapore

2007 "From Words to Pictures: Art During the Emergency", S'pore Art Museum, Singapore

2007 "Singapore Art Exhibition (Invited section)", S'pore Art Museum, Singapore

2006 "Beneath the Pavement: Discovering the City", S'pore Art Museum, Singapore

2005 "Creative Curating Lab", Raffles City Showcase, Singapore

2005 "Asian Traffic (Singapore pavilion)", Jendela, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

2005 "The 2005 World Exposition (Singapore pavilion)", Aichi, Japan

2004 "SCRATCH-OR", Imagine Library Art Loft, Shen Yang & Beijing, China

2004 "SENI Singapore: Art and the Contemporary", Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2004 "VIDEO AS URBAN CONDITION videoPOOL", Vargas Organisation, London

2004 "Reconstruction of a City", St. James Power Station, Singapore

2004 "Best of Singapore Art 2004", Citylink Showcase, Singapore

2003 "Sensitive Parts", Plastique Kinetic Worms, Singapore

2001 "Nokia Singapore Art 2001 (Curated section)", S'pore Art Museum, Singapore

2001 "Deriving Spaces", Plastique Kinetic Worms, Singapore

 

SELECT AWARDS & HONOURS

2011 APBF Signature Art Prize (People's Choice Award), Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2005 Young Artist Award (Visual Arts), National Arts Council, Singapore

1997 1st Prize (Experimental), United Film & Video Association Student Film & Video Competition, Philadelphia (co-awarded with William Phuan & Tan Chee Tat)

1996 Distinction, United Television Outstanding Video, Singapore (co-awarded with Chong Siew Hong)

1995 3rd Prize, All-School Students' Video Competition, NTU, Singapore

1988 1st Prize, Chinese Calligraphy Competition, Gan Eng Seng School, Singapore

 

SELECT SCHOLARSHIPS, GRANTS, RESIDENCIES & COMMISSIONS

2012-13 Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (with grant from National Arts Council, Singapore)

2011 "A Little Light Magic", Peranakan Museum, National Heritage Board, Singapore

2010 Arts Creation Fund, National Arts Council, Singapore

2008-11 Commission, Integrated Art (Telok Blangah MRT Station - Circle Line), Singapore

2008 Young Artist Award 2005 Project Grant (for "The Consolations of Museology"), NAC, Singapore

2008 Project Grant (for "Preoccupations"), Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Hong Kong

2006 Exhibition Grant (for Txtrapolis), Lee Foundation, Singapore

2005 Commission, Rebranding Launch, Gallery Hotel – The Hotel That Inspires, Singapore

2005 Commission, Launch of New Drama Centre, National Library Board, Singapore

2004 Emerging Artist Grant (for "When a Body Meets a Building"), National Arts Council, Singapore

2004 Exhibition Grant, Lee Foundation, Singapore

2000 Travel Grant, Singapore Film Commission, Singapore

2000 Conference Grant, Nanyang Tech. University, Singapore

1998-2000 Full Scholarship for Graduate Studies, Nanyang Tech. University, Singapore

 

SELECT CURATORIAL PROJECTS

2016 "The 5th Singapore Biennale", various venues in Singapore (co-curated with 8 others, under the creative direction of Susie Lingham)

2015 "What It Is About When It Is About Nothing", Mizuma Gallery, Singapore

2011 "Abject Systems: Artists Who Love the Unlovable", Studio Bibliothèque, Singapore 

2009 "Eniminiminimos: Artists Who Make Things Small II", Jendela, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

2008 "Hong Kong Anarchitecture Bananas: Artists Who Reclaim Space", Artist Commune, Hong Kong (co-curated with Lee Chun Fung)

2008 "Eniminiminimos: Artists Who Make Things Small", Studio Bibliothèque, Hong Kong

2007 "Between, Beside, Beyond: Daniel Libeskind’s Reflections & Key Works 1989-2014", SAM, Singapore

2007 "Autobiobliophiles: Artists Who Make or Use Books", Studio Bibliothèque, Hong Kong

2006 "Appetites for Litter: 8th Emerging Artists Show", Plastique Kinetic Worms, Singapore

2005 "Txtrapolis: Contemporary Text-Based Art from Singapore", NAFA Gallery 3, Singapore

2004 "In the Flesh: Nude in Contemporary Art, NAFA", NAFA Selegie Gallery, Singapore (co-curated with Sim Kok Huoy and Tay Swee Siong)

2004 "WoodLand", Woodlands Regional Library, Singapore (co-curated with Ahmad Mashadi & June Yap)

2003 "Cinepolitans: Inhabitants of a Filmic City", Esplanade, Singapore (co-curated with Tang Ling Nah)

2001 "Eye-dentifying Peranakan Cultures", NAFA, Singapore (co-curated with Sim Kim Huoy and Hong Sek Chern)

 

SELECT EDITORIAL PROJECTS

Lee, M. (Series Ed.), (2013). Corridors: Notes on the Contemporary. Berlin and Singapore: Studio Bibliothèque with various others.

Fominaya, A. R. & Lee, M. (Eds.), (2010). Who Cares? 16 Essays on Curating in Asia. Hong Kong: Para/Site Art Space with Singapore: Studio Bibliothèque & seed | projects.

Erdmann, C. & Lee, M. (Eds.) (2008). Preoccupations: Things Artists Do Anyway. Hong Kong: laiyan projects & Studio Bibliothèque.

 

SELECT TEXT CONTRIBUTIONS

Lee, M. (2017). Time Sensitive: 'Native Revisions' at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore. In Ocula. Available: https://ocula.com/magazine/reports/time-sensitive-native-revisions-at-the-instit/

Lee, M. (2015). Fly in the Face. In Kang, G. and Tay, K. (Eds.), Left to Right (Singapore: forthcoming).

Lee, M. (2015). Making New, Again. In J. Wee (Ed.), The Measure of Your Dwelling: Singapore as Unhomed (pp. 131-38). Berlin: Institut fur Auslandsbeziehungen.

Lee, M. & M. Pocock (2014). (Un)certain Observations. In Eyeline 82. Available: http://www.eyelinepublishing.com/eyeline-82/article/uncertain-observations.

Lee, M. (2014). Countershadows: Tactics in Evasion. In ArtAsiaPacific. Available: http://www.artasiapacific.com/Magazine/WebExclusives/Countershadows.

Lee, M. (2014). Heman Chong's "Of Indeterminate Time or Occurrence". Art Agenda. Available: http://www.art-agenda.com/reviews/heman-chong’s-“of-indeterminate-time-or-occurrence”/.

Lee, M. (2013). Systems of Space and Other Relics. In A. Pang (Ed.), Prairie Schooner: Bones. Available: http://prairieschooner.unl.edu/?q=fusion/bones/systems-space-and-other-relics. 

Lee, M. (2011). Fantasy of Extinction. In Utopias: Michael Lee and Bob Matthews (pp. 30–32). Singapore: Singapore International Foundation & British Council. 

Lee, M. (2008). On Doing. In C. Erdmann & M. Lee (Eds.), Preoccupations: Things Artists Do Anyway (pp. 10–17). Hong Kong: laiyan projects & Studio Bibliothèque. 

Lee, M. (2003). Poetics of the Ruin. Singapore Architect, 217: 48–50.

Lee, M. (2000). Dead Man Gazing: Posthumous Voyeurism in 12 Storeys, or ‘Splacing’ the Official and Forbidden Discourses in Singapore. Asian Cinema, 11(2): 99–131.

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Abbas, N. (2010). Agency For Unrealised Projects: Hong Kong Division. LEAP, 3: 154–172.

Chee, L. (2008). The Impediment of Conscience. In N. Abbas (Ed.), Foundations: The Consolations of Museology (pp. 15–25). Hong Kong: Studio Bibliothèque & WORM. 

Chee, L. (2007). Divine Library: Building an Unseen Monument. In L. Chee (Ed.), Documents: The $100,000 Gallery of Art (pp. 18–21). Singapore: WORM.

Chow, C. (2008). Small wonders make big impressions. Sunday Morning Post (20 Jan): 9.

Cole, J. (2010). City lights, city blights. Sunday Morning Post (8 Aug): Arts 12.

Cruz, J. (2006). On Roads Much Travelled. In Beneath the Pavement: Discovering the City (pp. 3–7). Singapore: Singapore Art Museum.

De Rozario, T. (2009). DIY art publishing tips. TIME OUT Singapore (May). Retrieved on Jan 31, 2012, from http://www.timeoutsingapore.com/books/feature/diy-art-publishing-tips (31 Jan 2012). 

Fominaya, A. R. (2010). The Problem of Asia. In The Problem of Asia. Sydney: Chalk Horse.

Goh, K. K. (2004). Body Speaks to Building. Lianhe Zaobao (zbNOW supplement) (19 Aug): 5.

Ho, R. A. (2013). Dwelling in the Off-Modern. There Can Be No Better World (pp. 12-31). Manila: Museum of Contemporary Art and Design.

Ho, R. A. (2011). Rojak with the Minister Mentor. Open Contours (Aug 18). Retrieved on Jan 31, 2012, from http://opencontours.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/rojak-with-the-minister-mentor/

Koh, H. T. (2009). Huang Na To Be Immortalised? My Paper (Apr 8). Retrieved on Jan 31, 2012, from http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20090408-134070.html

Koh, N. & Cheah, Ui-Hoon. (2012). Art of the enclave. The Business Times (Jan 27). Retrieved on Jan 31, 2012, from http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/news/story/0,4574,475225,00.html

Lee, W. C. (2009). Vacation Reading. Asia Art Archive (Off the shelf section). Retrieved on Nov 5, 2011, from http://www.aaa.org.hk/newsletter_detail.aspx?newsletter_id=798.

Maerkle, A. (2011). Michael Lee. The 3rd Singapore Biennale 2011: Open House (n.p.). Singapore: Singapore Art Museum.

Palmer, D. (2011). Singapore Biennale 2011. Frieze, 139 (May). Retrieved on Nov 5, 2011, from http://www.frieze.com/issue/review/singapore-biennial-2011/.

Peckham, R. (2010). Michael Lee: Hanart TZ Gallery. Art Forum (Critic’s Picks section, Aug). Retrieved on Nov 5, 2011, from http://artforum.com/picks/section=world.

Poh, L. (2001). Dancing on Jelly and Other Possibilities: Some Notes on Spaces in NSA01. Histories, Identities, Technologies, Spaces: Singapore Art Today, 1 (pp. 40–45). Singapore: National Arts Council.

Toh, J. (2011). Art, Prized. Signature Art Prize 2011: Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation (pp. 8–15). Singapore: Singapore Art Museum.

Seng ,Y. J. (2007). Curator's Note. In L. Chee (Ed.), Documents: The $100,000 Gallery of Art (pp. 10-11). Singapore: Singapore Art Museum & WORM with Hong Kong: Studio Bibliothèque.

Tan, A. (2010). Elective Affinities: Taking on Cheong Soo Pieng in the Contemporary. Bridging Worlds: Cheong Soo Pieng. Singapore: The National Arts Gallery. Retrieved on Nov 5, 2011, from http://nationalartgallery.sg/csp/commissioned-artworks/.

Tan, E. (2015, Nov 3). Stories: Michael Lee. Retrieved on Feb 15, 2016, from http://www.vada.org.sg/2015-2016-cmtp-curator-euginia-tan/2015/11/3/stories-michael-lee

TAXI Design Network. (2007). Daniel Libeskind's Reflections and Key Works, 1989-2014 Exhibition. TAXI Design Network (9 Jan). Retrieved on Jan 31, 2012, from http://www.designtaxi.com/news.php?id=6627.

Wong, S. (2003). Void Decks and Movie Houses. d+a, 14: 74–6.

 

SELECT PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

National Gallery, Singapore

National University of Singapore Museum, Singapore

Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

 

SELECT PRIVATE COLLECTIONS

Marc Bollansee, Brussells 

Johnson Chang, Hong Kong

William Lim, Hong Kong

Yeap Lam Yang, Singapore