Every Single Belonging of a Chinese Mother

We live in a consumer economy. Anything you can dream of you can have, and it's just a handful of cash away. But what do we do with all the things we buy? Some of it we need, and we hold on to those necessities. Other things are just clutter and end up being tucked away, thrown out, or pushed aside.

Chinese artist Song Dong has put on display every item his mother owned in one single room, including the house itself.

What sized room would it take to hold everything you owned?



When Mr. Song’s father died, in 2002, his mother was inconsolable. She continued to live in the jammed Beijing house, throwing nothing away and obsessively bringing more stuff into it, as if continuing to feather a nest for a now-absent family.

Finally, in 2005, Mr. Song proposed that they turn the accumulated junk into an art project. In this way, he argued, nothing would be discarded and lost; everything would be meaningfully recycled and preserved.

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From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by coconutnut.


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Everything I own /is/ in a ten by ten room. Except a moldering 35-year-old station wagon, I keep that outside. I even keep the various tools I own in here.
It's kind of cramped in here honestly.
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This type of "collection" art is hardly original... contemporary artists have now been passing this kind of thoughtless lazy crap off for decades. It's like art school 101 people. Nor is it interesting beyond being a shallow commentary on consumerism and the artist's mother's nostalgic neuroses... oooh! I can only guess that MOMA picked this garbage up because of the all-things-China craze going on in the art world and in the West in general these days, but wtf do I know.
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I saw this exhibit just yesterday at MOMA, it's amazing! And it does also explain that what looks like "Hoarding mentality" on the part the artist's mother is actually the manifestation of the indoctrination of the Chinese Government that taught its citizens to not waste and save and/or to reuse everything. It's really a remarkable exhibit.
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