Originally conceived of as an installation that would bring strangers together in conversation following the devastating tragedy of 9/11, internationally acclaimed visual artist Lee Mingwei premiered The Mending Project in 2009 at Lombard-Freid Projects, New York. The work has since been shown in museums internationally and continues to be a catalyst for connection. Lee Mingwei creates participatory installations, that bring people together to explore issues of trust, intimacy, and self-awareness. Through one-on-one encounters, the artist invites visitors to contemplate topical issues with others as they eat, sleep, walk and converse.
The Mending Project is an interactive conceptual installation featuring several simple elements—thread, color, and sewing—as a point of departure to create meaningful, tangible connections between strangers. You will be invited to bring a garment or textile in need of repair to Montalvo. Once inside the installation, you’ll be asked to select a thread from several spools mounted to the wall. A volunteer mender will then invite you to sit and talk while your garment is mended. Lee's projects are designed as open-ended experiences for everyday interaction, with each project taking on different forms shaped by the involvement of participants, allowing for change during the course of an exhibition. Every article mended during the run of the project will remain within the installation, with threads still attached, until its closing reception when visitors can retrieve their mended items on Sunday, December 8, between 12-3pm.