Art Review: Song Dong - Waste Not @ The Curve, Barbican Centre

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 82 months ago
Art Review: Song Dong - Waste Not @ The Curve, Barbican Centre
London, UK. 14/02/2012. Song Dong: Waste Not. Celebrated Chinese artist, Song Dong, is known for his conceptual, personal, performances and installations. For his first solo exhibition in a major UK public gallery, Song Dong is installing the monumental work, Waste Not, in The Curve, Barbican Art Galery. Comprising over 10,000 items collected by Song Dong's mother over five decades - ranging from a section of the house to metal pots and plastic bowls to blankets, bottle caps, toothpaste tubes and toys - the installation is a tribute to his mother, as well as a meditation on family life. Photo credit: Jane Hobson
Song Dong: Waste Not. The Curve, 15 Feb – 12 June 2012 Photograph by: Jane Hobson Courtesy Barbican Art Gallery
London, UK. 14/02/2012. Song Dong: Waste Not. Celebrated Chinese artist, Song Dong, is known for his conceptual, personal, performances and installations. For his first solo exhibition in a major UK public gallery, Song Dong is installing the monumental work, Waste Not, in The Curve, Barbican Art Galery. Comprising over 10,000 items collected by Song Dong's mother over five decades - ranging from a section of the house to metal pots and plastic bowls to blankets, bottle caps, toothpaste tubes and toys - the installation is a tribute to his mother, as well as a meditation on family life. Photo credit: Jane Hobson
SSong Dong: Waste Not. The Curve, 15 Feb – 12 June 2012 Photograph by: Jane Hobson Courtesy Barbican Art Gallery
London, UK. 14/02/2012. Song Dong: Waste Not. Celebrated Chinese artist, Song Dong, is known for his conceptual, personal, performances and installations. For his first solo exhibition in a major UK public gallery, Song Dong is installing the monumental work, Waste Not, in The Curve, Barbican Art Galery. Comprising over 10,000 items collected by Song Dong's mother over five decades - ranging from a section of the house to metal pots and plastic bowls to blankets, bottle caps, toothpaste tubes and toys - the installation is a tribute to his mother, as well as a meditation on family life. Photo credit: Jane Hobson
Song Dong: Waste Not. The Curve, 15 Feb – 12 June 2012 Photograph by: Jane Hobson Courtesy Barbican Art Gallery
London, UK. 14/02/2012. Song Dong: Waste Not. Celebrated Chinese artist, Song Dong, is known for his conceptual, personal, performances and installations. For his first solo exhibition in a major UK public gallery, Song Dong is installing the monumental work, Waste Not, in The Curve, Barbican Art Galery. Comprising over 10,000 items collected by Song Dong's mother over five decades - ranging from a section of the house to metal pots and plastic bowls to blankets, bottle caps, toothpaste tubes and toys - the installation is a tribute to his mother, as well as a meditation on family life. Photo credit: Jane Hobson
Song Dong: Waste Not. The Curve, 15 Feb – 12 June 2012 Photograph by: Jane Hobson Courtesy Barbican Art Gallery
London, UK. 14/02/2012. Song Dong: Waste Not. Celebrated Chinese artist, Song Dong, is known for his conceptual, personal, performances and installations. For his first solo exhibition in a major UK public gallery, Song Dong is installing the monumental work, Waste Not, in The Curve, Barbican Art Galery. Comprising over 10,000 items collected by Song Dong's mother over five decades - ranging from a section of the house to metal pots and plastic bowls to blankets, bottle caps, toothpaste tubes and toys - the installation is a tribute to his mother, as well as a meditation on family life. Photo credit: Jane Hobson
Song Dong: Waste Not. The Curve, 15 Feb – 12 June 2012 Photograph by: Jane Hobson Courtesy Barbican Art Gallery

Song Dong is a Chinese conceptual artist whose latest exhibition consists of over 10,000 household items laid out in the Curve Gallery in the Barbican Centre.

Waste Not is the external representation of his mother’s depression, brought about by her husband’s death, which resulted in her becoming a serial hoarder. Over seven years she amassed many items ranging from hundreds of plastic bottles through to dozens of empty cardboard boxes. The fact that these are everyday items will make you question your own possessions. Will those boutique bags or childhood toys really come in useful one day?

The Curve is the perfect gallery to host this exhibition. Its unique layout makes the collection appear to extend without end.

Though Waste Not hints at the wider issue of  the impact of one person on the environment, it’s the personal element to Song Dong’s work that provides its poignancy.

Song Dong: Waste Not is on at the Curve, Barbican Centre until 12 June. Admission is free.

Last Updated 20 February 2012