Song Dong’s “Waste Not”

Waste not has been travelling around the world since 2005. This amazing installation has been created by Song Dong, using some of the many objects of all kinds his mother saved in her house for many years.
After the death of her husband, Zhao (Dong’s mother) began hoarding even more, so much that it affected her quality of life and her children’s. Song Dong persuaded Zhao to use these objects to create an art installation, showing a glimpse of the history of a family in China, and respecting at the same time the choice of his mother, while helping Zhao improving her standard of life.

Song said: “My mother’s need to fill space with daily-life objects resulted from a need to fill the emptiness after my father’s death. I recognised that in this era of transition, a person could live through several different lives in just one lifetime. In the wink of an eye, one’s life could undergo great changes causing deep divisions between old and young.”

I couldn’t help thinking about how many things we buy and throw away during our lives. How emotionally attached one can get to the most tiny, sometimes insignificant, of things. How the social conditions and habits we grow up in influence us. How powerful art can be.

I really felt like I was travelling in time. I thought about my granpa; he’d have liked this installation, just because he still saves a lot of “useless” things. But he lived while Fascism and the Second World War were reigning in Italy, so he learned to repair and save all kind of things, in case of… Another time, another mentality. I find it fascinating. I’m not going for hoarding, but maybe we could learn something about the value of things and money 🙂

I took some pictures with my phone, so yes! Bad quality! But I hope they can give an idea 😉

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