Lee Mingwei in “Eat Me” at Trapholt Museum of Modern Art and Design Kolding, Denmark

23rd September 2017

Until 21 May 2018

Lee Mingwei intervenes in our customary idea of how a meal situation is established. Originated during his lonely first year at Yale University, he sought out persons from the campus for a concept where he met with strangers around a meal in a stylized set-up. Mingwei repeated the dinners night after night, filmed them, and the result was an art project entitled The Dining Project (1997/2017), which he continues to perform at exhibitions around the world -this time at Trapholt in Kolding.

Four times a week he carefully prepared a meal, according to the dietary preference of his dinner guest, using food as a catalyst and medium for trust and intimacy.  The ongoing interaction and dialogue were recorded on audio and video. The following day, the recording was played in the gallery, slightly altered and barely audible. This visual and aural trace allowed the next guest to experience the previous night’s meal along with their own, while maintaining the earlier guest’s anonymity. By tweaking the idea of what a meal can and should be, Mingwei broke the stigma of loneliness by creating a relational aesthetic work that can inspire others to similar actions.