Category: Song Dong

Song Dong | The Usefulness Of Uselessness

Continuing with the theme of trash in art, this time we have Chinese artist Song Dong’s mother’s trash, 40 years worth of it, collected through the years of hardship, turmoil and fortunes lost during the cultural revolution which started in the 1960s. Coming from a relatively well-off family, to have it all being taken away and Song’s father being sent to a labour camp for re-education must have been hard enough for Song’s mother, but when Song senior died in 2002, she went on over-drive; forbidding Song Dong and his sister from throwing anything away and filling every square inch of the house with every consumed household item imaginable, most of which would be considered trash.

Something had to give, as the house became unlivable under these circumstances, and in 2005 Song Dong convinced his mother to allow him to use this stuff in an art exhibition, entitled Waste Not (2005) which is derived from the Chinese thrift mentality, that everything has multiple uses beyond its intended use, and that one should capitalize on this, otherwise ‘one would be considered wasteful’.

Waste Not (2010) Song Dong
Waste Not (2010) Song Dong
Waste Not (2010) Song Dong
Waste Not (2010) Song Dong
Waste Not (2010) Song Dong
Waste Not (2010) Song Dong

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