5.28.2010

It's not shoes, it's love


There has to be something with the Chinese and hoarding.

I've come across a few works by Chinese artists that handle the meaning of personal objects. Last year at MOMA artist Song Dong installed "Waste Not," an epic collection of his mother's things from her packed Beijing apartment. She was a hoarder, keeping odd items like empty plastic bottles, squeezed out toothpaste tubes, and old shoes, knowing that one day they would come in handy again. She was right. With his mother's help, Dong installed her belongings in a collection. For Dong and other children of hoarders, the trail of objects reads like family history.


In an interview, Dong shows off some beat up shoes he was made fun of for wearing in school. But when asked why he still has it, he states that "it's [just] not shoes, it's love". The stuff loves you back.


I bought Dong's Waste Not book when I was visiting the 798 Arts District in Beijing this year but am afraid I've lost it. 

6 comments:

Pillows for the People said...

we should have coffee with him...
xo p

Raina Lee said...

we should, i think we could all be good friends.

Titania said...

Oh no, and here I've been trying to declutter my parents' house all these years!

Raina Lee said...

Titania, I hope my cautionary tale scares parents to declutter. I am hoping to put together some kind of scare pamplet for hoarding parents to have mercy on their kids!

Luster Kaboom said...

So true! My grandmother always told my father, "never waste even a grain of rice!" Which was the story my father always told me to finish everything on my plate. I think when they came over from China after the communists took over they were very poor and had to use everything to its fullest. I love this website Raina!

Raina Lee said...

thanks dave! yeah my mom always told me that for every grain of rice i didn't eat would be a pock mark on the face of the man i was going to marry. chinese people, so thrifty. and crazy.

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