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A world of dew, and within every dewdrop a world of struggle

Lindy Lee A world of dew, and within every dewdrop a world of struggle

30 July –
27 August 2022

Lindy Lee A world of dew, and within every dewdrop a world of struggle

30 July –
27 August 2022

The title of Lindy Lee’s exhibition is a haiku by Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa. Within Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism and Lee’s artistic vocabulary, the metaphor of dew drops – and entire worlds contained within them – has been consistently deployed to convey the transience of human existence and the cyclical nature of time.

This exhibition brings together paper-based and sculptural works made from 2008 to the present day. A new flung bronze wall sculpture entitled Fragmenting Firmament is accompanied by a series of large-scale works on paper made with fire, Chinese Ink, pencil, and photographic portraiture.

Following the announcement of Ouroboros (2024)an immersive public sculpture commissioned by National Gallery of Australia, and the touring survey exhibition, Moon in a Dewdrop, curated by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Lindy Lee’s new exhibition A world of dew, and within every dewdrop a world of struggle continues the artist’s exploration of humanity’s interconnectedness with the cosmos.

Fragmenting firmament
Lindy Lee

Fragmenting firmament

, 2022
Flung bronze
150cm diameter

POA

Snowflakes and Fire
Lindy Lee

Snowflakes and Fire

, 2021
Fire on cold pressed paper
155 x 103cm

$22,000

Night Canopy
Lindy Lee

Night Canopy

, 2021
Chinese ink and fire on cold pressed paper
155 x 103cm

$22,000

“The stars: what are they? They are chunks of ice reflecting the sun; they are lights afloat on the waters beyond the transparent dome; they are nails nailed to the sky; they are holes in the great curtain between us and the sea of light; they are holes in the hard shell that protects us from the inferno beyond…” 1

Writing Cosmos
Lindy Lee

Writing Cosmos

, 2018
Chinese ink, fire on cold pressed paper
154.5 x 106.5cm

$22,000

Burning rain
Lindy Lee

Burning rain

, 2021
Fire, paper
155 x 103cm

$22,000

“…they are the daughters of the sun; they are the messengers of the gods; they are shaped like wheels and are condensations of air with flames roaring through the spaces between the spokes; they sit in little chairs; they are strewn across the sky…”

Lindy Lee, A world of dew, and within every dewdrop a world of struggle, 2022, installation view. Photography: Andrew Curtis.
Being Swallowed by the Milky Way
Lindy Lee

Being Swallowed by the Milky Way

, 2008
Pencil and fire on paper
200 x 130cm

$24,200

Feng Huang / Phoenix
Lindy Lee

Feng Huang / Phoenix

, 2008
Pencil and fire on paper
200 x 130cm

$24,200

Lindy Lee, A world of dew, and within every dewdrop a world of struggle, 2022, installation view. Photography: Andrew Curtis.
One Nien
Lindy Lee

One Nien

, 2009
Pencil and fire on paper
130 x 191cm

$24,200

…they are the seeds of all the creatures on earth; they are the flock of the moon scattered across the sky like sheep in a meadow, and she leads them to pasture…

Lindy Lee, A world of dew, and within every dewdrop a world of struggle, 2022, installation view. Photography: Andrew Curtis.
Drowning in a Sea of Fire
Lindy Lee

Drowning in a Sea of Fire

, 2010
Pencil and fire on paper
230 x 112cm

$24,200

Dust
Lindy Lee

Dust

, 2008
Pencil and fire on paper
200 x 130cm

$24,200

Flickering Fields of Memory
Lindy Lee

Flickering Fields of Memory

, 2018
Chinese ink, fire and rain on cold pressed paper
154.5 x 102cm

$22,000

…they are spheres of crystal and their music creates a movement in the sky; they are fixed and we are moving; we are fixed and they are moving…

Lindy Lee, A world of dew, and within every dewdrop a world of struggle, 2022, installation view. Photography: Andrew Curtis.
Wandering alone in the World of Dew
Lindy Lee

Wandering alone in the World of Dew

, 2018
Chinese ink, fire, giclee print on cold pressed paper
154.5 x 102cm

$22,000

Casting Off
Lindy Lee

Casting Off

, 2018
Chinese ink, fire, giclee print on cold pressed paper
154.5 x 102cm

$22,000

  1. All quotes from Eliot Weinberger, ‘The Stars’, An Elemental Thing, New Directions, New York, 2007, pp. 171-176. This text was drawn upon by Zara Stanhope in her essay ‘Music in the Sky’, originally published in the exhibition catalogue Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop (Sydney: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 2020)


Lindy Lee, Moonlight Deities, 2020. Installation view, Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2020. Photo: Anna Kučera.

Artist biography

Lindy Lee’s practice explores her ancestry through the philosophies of Taoism and Buddhism, characterised by an awareness of humanity’s close relationship to nature and the universe. Employing ideas of chance and spontaneity, she creates imagery that emanates philosophical reflections on nature and life. Rather than singular visual statements, Lee’s artworks are thoughtful objects that evoke the elements and where meaning emerges from sustained meditation. Conceptually concerned with the ancient universe, we are repeatedly offered ‘a grander vision of existence where the bonds of time are loosened and we are for a moment free’.

With a practice spanning more than four decades, Lee’s work has been exhibited widely throughout Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States. Selected solo and group exhibitions include: Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2020; Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2018; Infinite conversations: Asian-Australia Artistic Exchange, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2018; Lindy Lee: The Dark of Absolute Freedom, UQ Art Museum, Brisbane, 2014; and Birth and Death, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney, 2007.

Lee’s work is held in major public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Queensland Art Gallery + Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; as well as regional and private collections throughout the world.

Lindy Lee in Conversation with Ron Bradfield Jr

In June 2022, Lindy Lee sat down for a yarn with Ron Bradfield Jr. to talk about her national touring exhibition Moon in a Dewdrop, currently on view at John Curtin Gallery, Perth, until 8 August 2022, her profound experience in the Shire of Roebourne, intergenerational trauma and the important influence of Zen Buddhism on her art practice.

Video courtesy John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University, Perth.

→ Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop, John Curtin Gallery, Perth
→ View artist profile
→ Browse artwork archive

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