SONG DONG: DAD AND MUM, DON’T WORRY ABOUT US, WE ARE ALL WELL
SYDNEY. 5 JANUARY – 30 MARCH 2013.
Dad and Mum, Don’t Worry About Us, We Are All Well is an exhibition of work by Song Dong spanning the last 30 years
Emerging as an important artist during a period of significant cultural, social and economic transformation in China, Song Dong’s work reinforces the family unit as a microcosm for society at large.
Song Dong creates spaces in contemporary art where members of his family from the present and the past are able to reunite and establish connections. Family members are featured in the artist’s earlier experimental video, photographic, sculptural and neon works which present compelling portraits of parent and child relationships and the power of simple actions in the process of memorialising and remembering. Song Dong’s experimentation with video over the past three decades – superimposing images of himself, his father, his mother and his daughter – bears the hallmark of emotional and spiritual connections but with the impossibility of physical contact ever materialising. Since his parent’s passing, Song Dong created his neon work, Dad and Mum, Don’t Worry About Us, We Are All Well (2011)which faces the direction of the sky and relays a personal message from his family to his late father, Song Shiping and late mother, Zhao Xiangyuan.
Coinciding with Dad and Mum, Don’t Worry about Us, We are All Well is Waste Not presented at Carriageworks, Song Dong’s most celebrated work previously exhibited at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2009 and London’s Barbican Art Gallery in 2012.
Dad and Mum, Don’t Worry about Us, We are All Well and Waste Not are presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Carriageworks in association with Sydney Festival.
Song Dong (born 1966) lives and works in Beijing and has been at the forefront of conceptual art in China since the 1990s. Known for combining aspects of performance, video, photography, sculpture, and installation, Song Dong’s works are often ephemeral and utilize modest materials that explore notions of transience and impermanence in personal, local, and global spheres. He has long been part of a traditional, tight-knit Beijing community, and his work reflects the everyday concerns and realities of his neighbors. Song Dong graduated from the Normal University in Beijing in 1989 and has exhibited widely in Asia and abroad. Recent exhibitions include Song Dong (2008) at the Zendai Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai; Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China (2004-2006) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; and Oalors, a chine: Chinese Contemporary Art (2003) at the Center Pompidou in Paris. His work was presented at the 2004 Sao Paolo Biennale in Brazil and at the 2003 Istanbul Biennale. He was also shown in the exhibition Inside Out: New Chinese Art Exhibition (1998) at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center.
Song Dong and curators, Aaron Seeto and Lisa Havilah were recently interviewed about the exhibitions, Dad and Mum, Don’t Worry About Us, We Are All Well presented at 4A and Waste Not presented at Carriageworks. With thanks to Das Platforms.