What a sight: The second storey of the Vancouver Art Gallery, usually stark and pristine with priceless works of art, is filled with stuff. It would not be unfair to call the items, spread out on the floor across three large rooms, junk. But these things – pop bottles, cans of Raid, bits of outdoor carpeting, socks – were a treasure to one woman, and as such have travelled to art galleries around the world in a monumental installation called Waste Not.
This installation is the work of Song Dong, a noted Beijing-based conceptual artist. Consisting of more than 10,000 items, as well as the frame of the tiny house where he grew up, Waste Not serves as a memorial to his father, Song Shiping, and a tribute to his mother, Zhao Xiangyuan. There are strong echoes here of both the Cultural Revolution and of China’s new consumer culture. And there’s an environmental message too: Nothing in Zhao’s life was thrown out, or went to waste.
Full article here at the Globe and Mail.
Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibition, May 6-September 20, 2009
Ought Apartment is a six-storey installation that features six full-scale apartments stacked one upon the other. Each apartment level is fully furnished exclusively with original items from the 1950s though to the present decade and includes a kitchen, living room and bathroom. Each floor represents the look of one particular decade, thus becoming emblematic of that period’s interior design and domestic living.
Ought Apartment calls attention to the cyclical nature of fashion within home décor and our total compliance in keeping up-to-date, and is also a critique of the ethical and environmental costs to which we will satisfy the ideal that our home is a reflection of ourselves.
This work has been commissioned by the Vancouver Art Gallery for installation in 2009.
Process shots and concept drawings for Ought Apartment can be seen at the Jennifer Kostuik Gallery.
Canadian Art featured the Kostuik Exhibition, February 5-March 21, 2009.