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Song Dong, installation view of Waste Not

Song Dong, installation view of Waste Not (2010), found objects [Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Oct 2-Jan 16] Courtesy of the artist and Tokyo Gallery + BTAP. PHOTO: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2010

Song Dong – Waste Not

Vancouver Art Gallery
Vancouver BC – Oct 2, 2010-Jan 16, 2011

Song Dong, detail of Waste Not

Song Dong, detail of Waste Not (2010), found objects [Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Oct 2-Jan 16] Courtesy of the artist and Tokyo Gallery + BTAP. PHOTO: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2010

Song Dong, detail of Waste Not

Song Dong, detail of Waste Not (2010), found objects [Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Oct 2-Jan 16] Courtesy of the artist and Tokyo Gallery + BTAP. PHOTO: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2010

In his first solo exhibition in Canada, Song Dong has scored an unprecedented first exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Waste Not (wu jin qi gong in Chinese) is an installation of 10,000 pieces of what is essentially garbage – worn clothes, tattered books, utensils, bits of plastic, empty bottles, old shoes, torn papers, broken watches, bags, string, and empty toothpaste tubes – arranged in seemingly infinite groupings. Described as a “miniature cityscape”, it is visually astounding in colour and texture.

As with the generations of people who suffered displacement, poverty and a shortage of everyday goods during the Great Depression in North America and the war years in Europe, Song Dong’s mother Zhao Xiangyuan was a victim of the deprivations of China’s Cultural Revolution. Her life-long habit of obsessive, compulsive collecting – absolutely any object of possible use or value – was a way of life for people in China. Song Dong culled and assembled thousands of pieces of his mother’s hoardings for his installation.

Song Dong emerged from the Beijing-based avant-garde performance art community and is considered to be a significant figure in the development of Chinese contemporary art since the early 1990s. Waste Not was first shown in Beijing in 2005 and was subsequently installed at the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea; formed part of the exhibition Reimagining Asia in Germany and England; and shown in New York at the Museum of Modern Art. In its current incarnation, Waste Not is the eleventh instalment in TD NEXT: A Series of Artist Projects from the Pacific Rim, presented by TD Bank Financial Group at the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Daina Augaitis.

www.vanartgallery.bc.ca

Mia Johnson

Song Dong, installation view of Waste Not

Song Dong, installation view of Waste Not (2010), found objects [Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, Oct 2-Jan 16] Courtesy of the artist and Tokyo Gallery + BTAP. PHOTO: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2010


 Thu, Nov 4, 2010