Sydney Festival : Waste Not by Song Dong


Two weekends ago, based on a friend's recommendation, I decided to pop by Carriageworks - an art centre situated in the old rail yards near Redfern Station. It has been housing a few exhibitions as part of the Sydney Festival, with one particular installation generating a bit of a buzz.

Chinese artist Song Dong's Waste Not project covers much of the open space of the art centre. It is a touching installation that came about following the death of his father. His mother as part of her mourning developed clinical hoarding to fill the void left by his father. Song Dong thought of another way to allow his mother sort through all her possessions whilst overcoming her grief. He told her of his plan to make "art" from her items, hence she became the artist and he, the assistant. This gave her a space to reminisce and put her memories in order, bringing her much happiness and a new start. Until her death in 2009, she would chat to visitors that came to see the project, answering their questions and telling them stories of her family.

Walking through the exhibition, I can imagine Song Dong and his mum sorting the items together and how glad Song Dong must have felt to be able to provide his mum with a purpose and outlet to share stories about her past and their family.

Waste Not will remain open to public until March 17. So if you have time to spare, do head to Carriageworks for a peek.


14 comments:

Arni @ Travel Gourmande said...

It must have been a lovely experience between Song Dong and his mum sorting out the items together. She's also so brave and the whole process must have been such a great release for her. What a wonderful exhibition to visit.

Danielle said...

Oh my goodness!!

Song Dong is THE biggest Chinese contemporary artist - married to Yin Xiuzhen, if I remember correctly! They are both wonderful artists that I studied, and adamant environmentalists. You are so lucky that you got to see this in person! Definitely send me more pictures if you have any more. I think it is so touching that they are willing to share their private family matters with the public; it creates a quiet reverence, a sense of pride for their parents.

Simply beautiful.

d a n i e l l e | daniellewu.com
Giveaway: win a shopping spree to FirmooGlasses!

Stephanie Lin said...

Oh wow, this looks like it was enlightening and so interesting! I've never heard of this artist before, but I'm glad that I know have learned something new!

Shoko said...

what an amazingly beautiful idea. i love this. thank you so much for sharing - i'm bookmarking the link for sure.

trishie said...

I love the story behind this. How gorgeous and sweet of the artist to help his mother through her grief

Anh said...

I heard about 'Waste Not' when Sydney was buzzing with the festival, and I was planning to visit but I thought it had closed along with the rest of Sydney Festival! Apparently not. I'm definitely going, it looks so sentimental and downright sad

Jane said...

I know lots of things happen for festivals at Carriageworks, but I've never managed to get there. The story behind this exhibit is really touching! I do want to see it in real life now.

Marlen said...

i'm always so bad at realizing the "art" part of modern art, but this is a really lovely exhibition because of the story behind it. it's beautiful how many memories there are there- of the past, of the relationship between mom and son, and of grieving and moving on. he's such a sweet son

xo Marlen
Messages on a Napkin

helen said...

this looks amazing. i have never heard about anything quite like this. what a sweet tribute to his mother :)

Ice Pandora said...

What a amazing exhibition!
The story behind all of this
is pretty touching...

xx

Deppa said...

Cool place! seems very interesting :)

See you!

Kamilla K said...

That's such an inspiring story! I'm glad he was able to use his mother's grief survival mechanism to make her happy and bring inspiration to others around him!

xx
Sophisticated Lace

fromtheloftabove said...

i feel a little teary reading your lovely excerpt. what a beautiful thought.

Grazie said...

Very poignant: how he tried to make joy out of sadness for his surviving family, and how each ordinary item carries precious memories. Thanks for sharing!

gz x
wherewearwe're

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