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Mr Monkey sees Quartet and the Living Room at the CAC

Venue : Chinese Arts Centre
Start date: 28th June 2013
End date : 17th August 2013
(Living Room closes 27th July)
Visit date : 4th July 2013
Mr Monkey scampered along to the Chinese Arts Centre to see Quartet and The Living Room, two exhibitions organised by Lee Mingwei.

Born in Taiwan and living in New York, Lee Mingwei creates installations which invite - or even demand - participation from the audience.


Mr Monkey in the dark of the Quartet
Mr Monkey couldn't quite scamper into the main gallery space to see Quartet, as there were heavy curtains over the door keeping light out of the installation. Inside, he found himself listening to the second movement of Antonin Dvořák's American Quartet being played by the Forest Hills Chamber Players.
Mr Monkey spotted that each of the four instruments seemed to be playing from four little alcoves, which were the only source of light in the room. Further investigation revealed that if you get too close to one of the alcoves the instrument stops playing for a short while. Visitors thus have to decide how complete they want the music to be (and are implicitly challenged to reduce the room to silence).

When he'd finished with Quartet (and his humans had tired of running around silencing instruments), Mr Monkey left the main gallery and went to the secondary gallery at the front to see The Living Room.

The Living Room

Mr Monkey looking at J.K.'s collection in The Living Room Mr Monkey looking at a monkey and other animals knitted by Cross Acres Knitting Group For The Living Room Lee Mingwei has set up a room with shelves and a sofa and tea making equipment in the front gallery of the Centre. He then persuaded a number of people and groups in the Manchester area to take turns to fill the space with their own collections, and to spend two or three days living in the living room explaining their collection to visitors.

The first time Mr Monkey went to see The Living Room he had a nice chat with Fine Art student Jevgenija Klujeva (or J.K.) about her collection of many, many portable things. And about the trees growing on the roof of the building opposite.

The second time Mr Monkey visited, the hosts were the Cross Acres Knitting Group from Wythenshawe. They'd gone out for lunch when Mr Monkey visited, so he admired the variety of things they'd knitted and had a chat with their monkey.

Mr Monkey enjoyed both Quartet and The Living Room, and thinks that they should be visited more than once.

Quartet runs until August 17th 2013.
The Living Room runs until July 27th 2013.

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