The Mending Project

Common Threads: Weaving Stories Across Time

Lee Mingwei
The Mending Project, 2009-2018

Mixed-media interactive installation including table, chairs, thread, and fabric items
Collection of Rudy Tseng, New Taipei City, Taiwan

You are invited to participate in The Mending Project by bringing a textile item that needs simple mending. During the time it takes to mend the item, you and a volunteer will sit together and talk. Once your item is mended, you may take it with you, or leave it at the Museum for the duration of the exhibition as part of this growing, visible network of small moments of connection and repair.

Mending includes small repairs to fabric. Please note that this is an art project, so the repairs may be artistic in appearance.

Photo at top: Yoshitsugu Fuminari. Courtesy Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.

Lee Mingwei: The Mending Project, La Biennale di Venezia "Viva Arte Viva," 2017.

The gesture of mending for me has different levels of meaning. The most obvious is that a piece of clothing is broken and needs repair. It could also be in (a) completely different conversation about how the world is today. There are so many things that are broken in the world now, with politics, the climate, relationships between people, between countries. Can we do something about it? I know I am just an artist and all I can do at this moment is something close to me. So let me start with our second skin: the clothes that we are wearing.

— Lee Mingwei

To volunteer as a mender in The Mending Project, please email If you have dropped off a piece of clothing for mending, please collect your mended garment from the Museum on January 15, 2019 from 5 - 8:30 pm.

The Mending Project is one part of the contemporary exhibition, Common Threads: Weaving Stories Across Time. On view in Hostetter Gallery.

Common Threads: Weaving Stories Across Time is supported in part by Amy and David Abrams, The Coby Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Barr Foundation ArtsAmplified Initiative, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives support from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Media Sponsor: WBUR