For her first major exhibition in the United States, Lee Bul exhibited work from her continuing series of karaoke booths that she started at the Venice Biennial in 1999.
This new work elaborated upon her interests in investigating the relationship between the body and how we experience our technologically mediated society.
With these pod-shaped, self-enclosed capsules she explored how to heighten the vicarious and visceral experience of karaoke, and how cross-cultural collective memories are constructed through pop songs.
The project was a two-part collaboration with the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia for which I was the project director at SFAI. For Part I Lee Bul did a short residency and we exhibited preparatory drawing and foam models for her new series of three sports car-like karaoke pods that would later be fabricated at the Workshop. She also produced a video with SFAI students at the famous Tonga Room at the San Francisco Fairmont Hotel–the 1950s era Polyneisan bar where musicians performed on a boat and visitors experienced a simulated tropical rainstorm.
Following the fabrication of the three pods and the accompanying videos, the Fabric Workshop exhibited Lee Bul Live Forever Part II that subsequently traveled to the Power Plant in Toronto, the University of Michigan Museum of Art and Design, the Henry Art Gallery and the Orange County Museum of Art.