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‘Lifeboat’ – Performed by Lee Wen Lunuganga, Sri Lanka 2001

‘Life boat’ is a piece of performance art performed by Lee wen; Pioneer Singapore contemporary artist at the Art show which took place at Geoffrey Bawas garden in Lunu Ganga in 2001. (The performance called ‘Lifeboat’) His body was painted in Yellow and he walked around (the performances done by group of local artists in a patch of cinnamon trees) carrying a bundle of cinnamon sticks which was tied as a trail of railroad track. And then he unfolds the bundle of cinnamon sticks like a rail road, lay down on a mud lifeboat then he tied the tracks with the floating island in the lake. Then he laid over the small floating Island.

His performance symbolizes ethnic and social identity intersect with the post-colonial condition in Sri Lanka. Not only the ‘Lifeboat’ but also through many of his performances Lee Wen tried to portray and discuss the matters of identity, ethnicity and freedom. What he performed is really embedded to his life and his vision. As ChanLi Shan noted: “At the heart of it was Lee Wen’s dream of a society that overcomes stereotyping and superficiality.”

Lee Wen passed away on 03rd March 2019 at the age 61.

Captured with Yashica FX3 Supper 2000 / 49 mm / Fuji provia  35 mm film / process  E6 /

(Image& text by Waruni Anuruddhika )

copyrights Waruni Anuruddhika