Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Yishu’s Editor-in-Chief Keith Wallace Discusses Song Dong’s Work at Vancouver Art Gallery, December 4, 2010

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Keith Wallace, editor of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, and Hank Bull, the Director of Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, lead a conversation about Song Dong’s work in the larger context of contemporary Chinese art, the globalized economy and its impact on China.

Date: Saturday, December 4, 2pm

Venue: Vancouver Art Gallery

750 Hornby Street

Vancouver, British Columbia

Canada V6Z 2H7

Free with Gallery admission.


About the Exhibition: Song Dong–Waste Not

Song Dong has been a significant figure in the development of Chinese contemporary art since the early 1990s, emerging from a strong Beijing-based avant-garde performance art community. His multi-disciplinary practice explores notions of perception, transience and the ephemeral nature of existence.

Song Dong’s monumental installation Waste Not is a collaboration between the artist and his mother, Zhao Xiangyuan. The installation comprises the frame of his mother’s house along with all of the everyday objects she meticulously collected over the course of her lifetime: a collection of over ten thousand worn and broken objects, each one with unlimited potential value. Together, the assembled materials—clothes, books, kitchen utensils, toiletries, school supplies, shopping bags, rice bowls, dolls—were used, recycled, and saved. Meticulously arranged in careful groupings throughout the exhibition space, the objects form a miniature cityscape that viewers can navigate around and through.

Waste Not—or wu jin qi gong in Chinese—describes the philosophy of life for a generation of people in China, of which Song Dong’s mother was a part, who grew up during the Cultural Revolution with the experience of displacement, poverty and the constant shortage of goods. The installation stands as a record of his mother’s life, as well as a tribute to his father’s death.

Waste Not was first created in Beijng in 2005 and has since been exhibited internationally, at the Gwangju Biennale in Korea, as part of the exhibition Reimagining Asia in Germany and England, and in New York at the Museum of Modern Art. This is the first solo exhibition of Song Dong’s work in Canada.

On View: until January 16, 2011


Long March Space
cc foundation
Daniels Etheridge
Equinox Gallery
New Asia
US China Yes Youth Eduction Solutions