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Lihua Lei, an installation artist who focuses on the condition of the human body, will explore bodily memory in Colby’s third annual emerging artist series, currents3. The exhibition opens on Thursday, November 16, with a talk by the artist at 4:30 and an opening reception at 6 p.m.

Lei, a native of Taiwan who attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and settled in Solon, Maine, uses diverse materials to allude to the body: a pool of colored thread suggests blood; a tube of cloth winds through the landscape like an esophagus or a birthing canal; a tree’s knotty irregularities imply scars, burns, or tumors upon a torso.

For currents3, Lei explores memory as a bodily phenomenon. She asks how our bodies remember, or feel, what they have lost.  Lei’s installation explores the vulnerabilities and transformations of the body. Afflicted with polio as a child, Lei explores the personal effects of this disease through her sculptural installation. She has also created a site-specific work on view in Johnson Pond on the Colby campus, which engages its environmental surroundings and subtly references the art on view in the museum.

The museum’s Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator Sharon Corwin will offer a tour of the exhibition on Thursday, January 25, at noon. It is free and open to the public.

Currents is a series of annual exhibitions by emerging artists who push the boundaries of traditional art forms. Special attention is given to artists working in new media such as installation, video, performance and site-specific works. Previous currents exhibits have featured Sam Van Aken and Julianne Swartz.

The Colby College Museum of Art is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Mondays. Admission is free and the museum is accessible to people with disabilities. For more information call 207-859-5600 or visit the museum online.

Image: Lihua Lei, Easy Target (detail), 2002, ink and glass, courtesy of the artist