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Song Dong: Song Dong



Eating the city


Cookies, loose candies, chocolate sauce, peanut butter [2017]

Many of Song Dong’s works are related to food, and “Eating the City” is a project he has enacted in cities around the world. In each city, he purchases food items of different colors, such as cookies, candy, butter, and chocolate sauce. Then, he invites local volunteers to build a model of their city and encourages viewers to consume the installation at the opening. This artwork presents both the lure of sugar and the power of audience participation, which give the piece two meanings. Humans long for beautiful cities, a desire that destroys the original form of those cities, but these cities also pave the way for unfettered consumer demand. All of this reflects the desires that lie behind consumption behaviors, desires that humanity can never realize, reminding us that human life is limited, brief, and unflinching.

Song Dong's installation Eating the City, London, February 2006

Objects With Stories | Song Dong: Waste Not | Barbican Art Gallery | London 2006 

Stamping the Water 1996

Photograph Set of 36, 23 5/8 x 15 3/4 in each 

Wisdom of the Poor: Communal Courtyard,
an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong,
Art Gallery of Ontario 2016

This installation is made from parts of 100 old wardrobes collected from traditional Beijing neighbourhoods, or hutongs, like the one in which Song Dong grew up in.  These neighbourhoods, and their communal way of life, are disappearing.

Song Dong, Writing Diary with Water, 2002