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Lee Mingwei – The Moving Garden


We reflect upon this incredible Exhibition – where Melbourne was inspired by the art of giving through sharing flowers.

Taiwanese-American artist Lee Mingwei is internationally recognised as one of the leading creators of art which invites audience participation.

The NGV presented his acclaimed piece The Moving Garden 2009-present, an artwork that creates new, unexpected encounters in the city.

Lee’s artwork is highly participatory, and invites audiences into one-on-one interactions, such as bringing in an item to be mended by the artist in The Mending Project as well as more open-ended works such as The Moving Garden.

Lee says of the work:

‘In this project I present a space with beautiful, fresh flowers. Museum guests are invited to take one of these flowers with them when they leave the museum, if they will agree to do two things: first, to make a detour from their intended route when leaving the museum for their next destination; second, along this detour, to give the flower to a stranger who they feel would benefit from this unexpected act of generosity.’

Tony Ellwood, Director of the NGV, said, ‘Lee’s artwork inspires contemplation of social themes like trust and self-awareness, by encouraging one-on-one interactions between strangers. The Moving Garden will also challenge the traditional relationship between art and audience, with each flower picked adding the story of the participant to that of the artwork.’

Flowers Vasette were incredibly proud to be a Principal Partner, providing one thousand single flowers for each of the 106 days of the exhibition with flower varieties included Gerberas, Carnations, Irises, Chrysanthemums and Roses.

Vasette Director Cherrie Miriklis has always recognised the energy of flowers to uplift the spirits and to be involved in supporting the exhibition was essentially an opportunity to share her love of flowers with the people of Melbourne, as guests would take a flower and re-gift to a stranger on the street after visiting the the Gallery.