Lee Mingwei: The Moving Garden*

the flowers pour in from the market gardens
rest in a gentle spiral in the trough
the artist requests
that a viewer pluck a flower
take some circuitous route
to their next place of call &
gift the bloom to a stranger


momentary intensity of the chance encounter, or

could the flower go to another artist
the photographer
revealing her creations to the world
this very afternoon?

somewhere else
the painter exhibits
in a building up for demolition
portraits segue into the ruins
the dim light from high windows
beaming into the shadows
catching red in the spotlights

could it too carry the gift of the floral?

*Lee Mingwei, The Moving Garden, 8×1 metres. Temporary installation, National Gallery of Victoria, 2016-2017.

Jennifer Mackenzie is the author of Borobudur (Transit Lounge, Melbourne, 2009), republished in Indonesia as Borobudur and Other Poems (Lontar, Jakarta, 2012), and is currently working on a new collection, Map/Feet. She also reviews poetry and fiction from and about the Asia-Pacific region.

Jennifer has presented her work at many festivals and conferences in Asia, including the Ubud and Irrawaddy Festivals, and recently completed a writing residency at Seoul Art Space_Yeonhui in March and April of 2016.

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