11.00am – 12.00pm Saturday 4 June 2022

Join John Curtin Gallery Director, Chris Malcolm in conversation with artist Lindy Lee as she discusses her arts practice and in particular the works appearing in this special exhibition.

Moon in a Dew Drop takes an in-depth look at four decades of extraordinary practice. Influential Australian Chinese artist Lindy Lee explores identity, history, spirituality and our relationship to the cosmos. She creates meditative works using light, shadow and scale across many artforms.

Working across a range of disciplines including painting, sculpture, installation and public art, Lee draws on her Australian and Chinese heritage to develop works that engage with the history of art, cultural authenticity, personal identity and the cosmos. Key influences are the philosophies of Daoism and Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism, which explore the connections between humanity and nature.

Take in shimmering, meditative and thought-provoking works in her major survey exhibition which draws on her experience of living between two cultures.

Lindy Lee has also created a series of significant public artworks in Australia and internationally, including Secret World of a Starlight Ember (2020), situated outside the MCA Australia on Circular Quay forecourt.

Image: Lindy Lee in her studio, Sydney, 2014. © the artist.



Lindy Lee is an Australian artist (born Brisbane 1954). Lee’s practice explores her Chinese ancestry through Taoism and Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism – philosophies that see humanity and nature as inextricably linked. Symbolic gestures and processes that call on the element of chance are often used to produce a galaxy of images that embody the intimate connections between human existence and the cosmos. Lee’s works are intentionally slow to impart their secrets. Rather than singular visual statements, they are thoughtful objects where meaning emerges from sustained meditation.

Investigating and questioning multiplicity of self has remained a central concern in Lee’s practice. From her early works that referenced the Western canon of portraiture and questioned the notion of authenticity in artistic practice, to her more recent use of family photos that reflect on the experiences of loss and transition spanning five generations of travel from China to Australia. Lee’s work, as a Chinese-Australian artist, has been crucial to visualising the experience of Chinese diaspora in a country that has historically whitewashed its multiculturalism.

Lee’s painterly techniques of wax splatters and ink spills reference the ancient Chinese practice of ‘flung ink painting’, as performed by Ch’an (Zen) Buddhists. Lee has also developed these splatter gestures into sculptural forms by throwing searing molten bronze on to the foundry floor, which embodied the Buddhist act of renewal where all that is held inside oneself is released. Such mark-marking emphasises one’s presence in the moment, and can also be seen in Lee’s repetition of burning holes in photographs, on paper scrolls and through sheets of metal. Each mark-marking gesture is a pitch into eternity – meeting with this moment – indeed in Buddhism eternity isn’t anywhere else but here, there is only this moment of now.

Lindy Lee in front of The Life of Stars, 2018, installation view, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, image courtesy the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney and Singapore, and UAP, © the artist, photograph: Saul Steed
Lindy Lee in front of The Life of Stars, 2018, installation view, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, image courtesy the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney and Singapore, and UAP, © the artist, photograph: Saul Steed


John Curtin Gallery, Building 200A, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley WA 6102


Admission and Accessibility.


Open until 28 August 2022

Mon-Fri 11am-5pm, Sun 12pm-4pm




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