Symphony Zero

30 Jul 2021–4 Sep 2021
PV 30 Jul 2021, 5-8pm


San Mei Gallery is pleased to present Symphony Zero, a solo exhibition by London-based artist and researcher Lisa Chang Lee.

At the core of Lisa Chang Lee’s practice is a deep interest in the relationship between humanity and the environment in different cultures. Inspired by how Taoist ideology of nature permeates through visual art, music, poetry amongst every aspect in Asian culture, Lee works across moving image, photography, print and collaborative research-based projects with creative partners from other disciplines. Her work is made based on a vitalist conception of life which sees nature as a constant flow of transformation that contains culture rather than a static objectified exterior to man. 

Central to the exhibition is the audio-visual installation, Serenade of the Woods. This is a project that uses the objectivity of algorithms to examine and challenge the binary opposition between technology and nature. Through data analysis, the rhythm of plants in the breeze is read and then transformed into music scores. Applied with Olivier Messiaen’s scale inspired both by music and birds song, the algorithm processes movements of plants swaying in the breeze, recorded from everyday life. Each plant is given a musical instrument that corresponds to its synesthetic form. Eventually, musical scores written by nature are played by humans as a live performance and an audio-visual installation.

Serenade of the Woods explores the act of ‘non-doing’ using AI and machine learning. Whilst technology is undeniably dominating our everyday life and our ways of experiencing the world, the artist believes that the principle of algorithms is ultimately neutral. The binaries can be computed to help us better comprehend the environment as an ultra-complex organism, as well as reveal the beauty of spontaneity and chance.

Symphony Zero’s public programme will include a live performance of virtuoso multi-percussionist Beibei Wang on 21 August.


Lisa Chang Lee



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