Serena Lee
b. 1984, Toronto


2011 MFA, Piet Zwart Institute (Rotterdam, NL)
supervisors: Liesbeth Bik, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Monika Szewczyk
2009 Associate Diploma, Piano Performance, Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto, CA)
2008 BFA, Ontario College of Art & Design, Integrated Media (Toronto, CA)
2006 Interactive Media Program - Tampere Polytechnic University: School of Art and Media (Tampere, FI)


[upcoming] Rise and Fall for Monomyths, FADO Performance Art Centre, Toronto, performance curated by Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane
[upcoming] Shattered Moon Alliance workshop series, YYZ Artist Outlet, Toronto, public programme - facilitator (with Christina Battle)

The Taste of The Name, Regent Park Film Festival, Toronto, virtual reality video installation
Visiting Other Dimensions, Regent Park Film Festival, Toronto, public programme - facilitator (with Christina Battle)
Model Minority As Discussed By Angry Asian Feminist Gang, Art Metropole, Toronto, public programme - speaker
New Toronto Works 2016, Pleasure Dome, Toronto, screening curated by Daniel McIntyre and Katrina Orlowski
The Star In Question, Mountain Standard Time, Calgary, performance
INSIDEOUT Symposium, Petra Ark Space, Amsterdam, public programme (with Read-in) curated by No Land's Men Stichting

Fool me once you can't get fooled again, Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, screening curated by Nothing To See Here
A Proposal to Call, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, group exhibition (with Read-in) curated by Vera Lauf & Barbara Mahlknecht
The Taste of The Name, Close Quarters, Denver, solo exhibition curated by Nothing to See Here
WREATHED IN AMBIGUITY AND TERROR, LivingArts Hamilton Symposium, Hamilton, public programme - facilitator
Peripheral Fixation, Trinity Square Video, Toronto, commission and group exhibition
Made in Commons: Indonesian Iteration, Kunci Cultural Studies Center, Yogyakarta, group exhibition and public programme curated by Syafiatudina

Layers Channels Paths History, 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art, Toronto, performance
Stage V: Keys to the Beach, Fuller Terrace Lecture Series, Berlin, performance curated by Ella Tetrault & Bethany Riordan-Butterworth
Ein Stück für die Bibliothek, Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, exhibition, public programme (with Read-in)
Regimes of Memorizing, Stedelijk Museum Buro Amsterdam, Casco: Office for Art, Design & Theory, Utrecht
group exhibition and public programme (with Read-in) for Made in Commons

Jeux d'eau, Kunstraum Niederösterreich, Vienna, performance (with Julia Danzinger)
Wandering through, across and within, screening curated by Christina Battle, official selection: Counterpath Press, Denver, WNDX Festival of Moving Image, Winnipeg, Antimatter Film Festival, Victoria, CA
Layers Channels Paths History, Clonlea Studios, Dublin, performance for (((O))) curated by Lee Welch & Teresa Gillespie
Details of the Last Survey, University of the Arts, Theatre Academy, Helsinki, performance for Indicating Boundaries: 4th International Festival and Conference of Live Art and Performance Studies
Re-projecting London, The Showroom, London, public programme (Read-in in collaboration with Emma Smith) for a project by Ricardo Basbaum, coordinated by Louise Shelley
Shifts in Time: Performing the Chronic, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, public programme (with Read-in) organised by Akademie der Bildende Kunst PhD in Practice Programme
Grand Domestic Revolution Goes On, CCA Londonderry, public programme (with Read-in) curated by Binna Choi & Maiko Tanaka with CCA Londonderry
Randzonenlesung, Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, public programme (with Read-in)

Silent Thursdays, Festival for Art as Research, Ottersberg, performance
Something to take with you for Why Stay If You Can Go?, De Appel, Amsterdam, public programme (with Read-in) curated by The Black Swan (De Appel) and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Now a standard! Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, performance for The Musical Symposium curated by Kirsty Roberts & Toon Fibbe with Goldsmiths MFA Programme
THIS MASSIVE POWER, Salon Populaire, Berlin, performance (with Giles Bailey), curated by Ellen Blumenstein
Derailments (F.I.R.E.I.N.C.A.I.R.O.), Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, radio programme curated by Natasha Ginwala for We Are The Time Conference

Future Bananamour, Hotel Maria Kapel, Hoorn, collaborative performance for Light Bar, curated by Instant Coffee
Plan and Elevation, id11: onderZOEKT, Delft, performance and installation for id11 residency curated by Rolina Nell & Paul Giesen
SYNCOPATION, Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, performance
Meet us on the Commons, Art Gallery of Mississauga, group exhibition curated by Elizabeth Underhill
The Life of an Artist, Haute Ecole d’Art et de Design, Geneva, group exhibition curated by Lili Reynaud-Dewar
Loud & Clear, Telephone Booth, Rotterdam, performance and installation curated by Lee Welch
Anthem for the People’s Tomorrow, Station Bergweg, Rotterdam, group exhibition curated by Ellen Blumenstein

This Particular Fact of Situation, Sub.Urban Video Lounge, Rotterdam, screening curated by Jay Tan
Flagship Location, Warsaw: Vistula River, public installation
Office for the Unknown, Blaak 10, Rotterdam, group exhibition curated by Alexis Vaillant
Suite Suite Chinatown, video omnibus curated by Aram Siu Wai Collier and Heather Keung, official selection:
Asian American International Film Festival, New York City; Asian Pacific American Film Festival, Philadelphia
AmérAsia International Film Festival, Montreal; San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, San Francisco; WFG Cinematheque, Winnipeg

Lowrise Shooting, Rotterdam Museumnacht, Occupying Spaces, public installation curated by Leslie Robbins
Dissecting the Narrative, Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, screening curated by Heather Phillips
Live Long & Prosper, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, expanded cinema performance in collaboration with Lesley Loksi Chan, curated by Heather Keung
ARM'S LENGTH, Summerworks Festival, The Theatre Centre, Toronto, theatre performance in collaboration with director/writer Laurel Green

The Liberace Special: Collector’s Edition, Forest City Gallery, London, solo exhibition
Being Young and Restless, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto, performance curated by Tejpal Aiji
An Anthology of Familiar Tones, White Water Gallery, North Bay, solo exhibition
Cake on the Icing, InterAccess Media Arts Centre, Toronto, exhibition curated by Shaun Dacey
To Master Any Song in Any Key, Antimatter Film Festival, Victoria, screening


Read-in is a self-organised collective that experiments with the political, material, and physical implications of collective reading and the situatedness of any reading activity. Read-in developed through The Grand Domestic Revolution a collective research project initiated in 2010 by Casco: Office for Art, Design and Theory (Utrecht, NL). Read-in experiments with going door-to-door and asking neighbours to spontaneously host a reading session; workshops focusing on reading and memorising as individuals and collectively; and BookshelfResearch examines specific private or public libraries according to categories such as gender, nationality, materiality, to investigate inclusions and omissions. Current Read-in members: Annette Krauß, Hyunju Chung, Laura Pardo, Sanne Oorthuizen, Serena Lee, and Svenja Engels.

Shattered Moon Alliance is a collaborative living research project between Christina Battle and Serena Lee exploring science fiction 'worldbuilding' from the artists' perspectives as women of colour. Through a series of discursive reading and watching workshops in Toronto, Battle and Lee explore science fiction strategies of narrative and poetics in dialogue with participants, generating a transmedia 'tool-kit' for politicised media literacy.

Magic Bar is an artist platform for curating and hosting public film screenings, dinners, concerts, performances, karaoke, and discussions. Magic Bar was a collaboration between Anna Okrasko, Serena Lee, and Eric Philippoz that took place in Rotterdam from 2011 - 2012.


2015 Trinity Square Video, Toronto, CA, thematic commission
2015 Kunci Cultural Studies Center, Yogyakarta, ID, with Read-in
2013 Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, DE, with Read-in and Annette Krauß (Follow Fluxus awardee)
2011 id11: onderZOEKT, Delft, NL

Catalogues & Publications

2016 THIS MASSIVE POWER, writing collaboration by Giles Bailey and Serena Lee
2015 The Taste of The Name, Close Quarters, essay by Leila Armstrong
2014 (Read-in) Es gibt keine unschuldige Lektüre! (Ein Lesestück), Springerin: 1/14 Chronic Times
2014 (Read-in) Regimes of Memorizing: A Readplay, Casco: Office for Art, Design and Theory
2014 catalogue: 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art, Toronto
2014 (Read-in; Futurist Writing School) Grand Domestic Revolution Handbook, ed. Binna Choi and Maiko Tanaka, Casco and Valiz
2013 catalogue: S/He Is The One, Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Vienna
2013 A Copper Bowl exhibition essay for Escapements (Heather Keung and Michael Connor), A Space Gallery
2012 Buiten (Outside) for Household Words, ed. Lee Welch,
2011 Anthem For the People's Tomorrow, ed. Ellen Blumenstein, PZI and Spector Books
2011 catalogue: Meet us on the Commons, Art Gallery of Mississauga, essay by Elizabeth Underhill
2010 Options with Nostrils, ed. Alexis Vaillant, Sternberg Press
2010 (Mis)reading Masquerades, If I Can't Dance I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, Revolver
2009 catalogue: Dissecting the Narrative, Art Gallery of York University, essay by Heather Phillips
2009 catalogue: Inner and Outer Space, Images Festival, XPACE Cultural Centre, text by Serena Lee
2008 catalogue: Cake on the Icing, InterAccess Media Arts Centre, essay by Shaun Dacey

Professional & Organisational Affinities

2016 - current
Vtape (Toronto, CA) - Board of Directors
Haute école d'art et de design - Genève: Research Master Programme (Geneva, CH) Thinking under Turbulence: Geneva Colloquium - Publication Copy-editor
2015 - current
Ontario College of Art & Design (Toronto, CA) - Coordinator, Experiential Learning Program
Trinity Square Video (Toronto, CA) - Board of Directors
Gendai Gallery (Toronto, CA) - Programming Collective
2015 - 2016
National Film Board of Canada, Ontario Studio - Executive Assistant
2013 - 2015
Justice 4 Domestic Workers (London, UK) - Literacy Workshop Facilitator
2012 - 2013
Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (Toronto, CA) - Programming Coordinator
2010 - 2012
Studio Assistant to Ellen Gallagher (Rotterdam, NL)
2008 - 2009
XPACE Cultural Centre (Toronto, CA) - Programmer, Art and Design

Awards & Grants

2016 Toronto Arts Council: Media Arts Emerging Artist Grant
2014 Ontario Arts Council: Exhibition Assistance Grant

2013 Ontario Arts Council: Exhibition Assistance Grant

2012 Toronto Arts Council: Visual Arts Emerging Artist Grant

2009 Animasia Award - Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
2009 Canada Council for the Arts: Travel Grant

2008 Ross Fletcher Film and Video Scholarship

2008 William F. White Prize for Film and Video

2007 InterAccess Media Arts Prize

serena lee