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Chinese artist Song Dong has arrived in Sydney Australia with his exhibition “Waste Not”, which has already been seen in New York and London, and is now at Carriageworks.
More than 10,000 items are on display. They were all collected and hoarded over a period of 50 years in Beijing by the artist’s mother.
He said: “For my mother’s generation, but I think the whole generation, they hoped to keep everything because they lived in a really hard time. My mother said, ‘I don’t want to show that. If I show that, your friends will know your mother is messy, so it’s not good for you. But I said, if we do this together, to show them, to show your life, to show our life, my father will be happy, my friends will be happy, and I will get famous!”
The installation offers an unusual insight into Chinese family life, and includes furniture, ornaments, kitchenware, clothes and even empty plastic bottles and toothpaste tubes.
Lisa Havilah, the curator of the installation at Carriageworks, said: “I think there’s a very strong emotional pull when you see these objects. Even though they are not telling a story of you, they make you think about what objects you travel through your own life with.”