Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Song Dong: Waste Not - The Curve, Barbican Centre

Song Dong: Waste Not is an intriguing exhibition in The Curve at the Barbican Centre until 12 June.
As reported in The New York Times in relation to the installation of the exhibition at MoMA in 2009, Waste Not represents the accumulated possessions of Zhao Xiangyuan. Mrs Zhao lived in Beijing with her husband and two children in a tiny house. The house became crammed with clothes, toiletries, buttons, ballpoint pens...which were used, recycled and hoarded - a seemingly extreme response to the Cultural Revolution's dictum of frugality in daily life. 
Mrs Zhao's son, Song Dong has now turned the contents of his childhood home, some 10,000 items into the installation Waste Not. The Guardian reports that, after Song's father died in 2002, depression turned his mother's thrift into hoarding and her house in Beijing was stuffed with clutter. "I asked her why she wanted to fill the room with what to me is rubbish, and she said: 'If I fill the room, the things remind me of your father.'"
See a video of Song Dong in conversation with Barbara London.

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