Esplanade Presents

Visual Arts | Talk

Unafraid of Oblivion: Talk by Michael Lee and Moderated by Chan Li Shan


9 Dec 2023, Sat, 11am


(Intermission: None)

Esplanade Recital Studio Foyer (Meeting Point: Jendela (Visual Arts Space))

This event is over.

From left to right: Michael Lee and Chan Li Shan.
A Place for Nobody, Michael Lee, 2023.

In this talk, artist Michael Lee recounts the motivations and creative processes behind his exhibition, A Place for Nobody, at the Esplanade Community Wall. The exhibition features three works: Friendly Strangers Party, an installation with pennant flags referencing encounters with strangers; My Garden, a mural of doodles highlighting objects of personal significance; and Anybody, Everybody, Nobody, Somebody, a Venn diagram exploring social roles and relations. Lee will discuss the darker facets of hyperindividualism and social competition while revealing how he investigates anonymity, acceptance and empathy through drawings, text and diagrams. Crucially, he will share why embracing oblivion provides newfound freedom. Writer and mental health advocate Chan Lishan will moderate this discussion. 

Admission Age:
6 and above.
Language: English
Things to Note:
Accessibility Advisory: We provide a range of access services and relaxed performances for patrons with access needs. For wheelchair-accessible seats, please call Esplanade Customer Experience at 6828 8377 for assistance. Concessions for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and up to one accompanying companion are available. | View our accessibility guide
Artist Information

Michael Lee

Michael Lee is an artist and curator whose practice examines urban memory and loss. Lee’s observations are often translated into objects, diagrams, situations, texts and curatorial projects. He has presented his work in solo exhibitions at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany (2013) and international group exhibitions, including Asia Triennial Manchester, United Kingdom (2011) and Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, China (2014). In 2016, he was an associate curator of An Atlas of Mirrors, Singapore Biennale. 

Chan Li Shan

Chan Li Shan is the author of three books: A Philosopher's Madness, a memoir of mental illness (Ethos Books: 2012), a children’s biography picture book entitled Yellow Man (Epigram Books: 2021), and Searching for Lee Wen, a creative biography of the late Lee Wen, a prominent performance artist in Singapore (Epigram Books: 2022). She is a patient advocate with the Singapore National Healthcare Group Population Mental Health Steering Committee and committee member of the Singapore Association for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. At the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, she is a PhD student in the English Department. Her broad research areas are life writing and mental health, with a regional focus on Singapore and Southeast Asia. 

Date & Time

9 Dec 2023, Sat


Esplanade Recital Studio Foyer
Meeting Point:
Jendela (Visual Arts Space)

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