| Biography | Artists Statement | Artists Represented | Song Dong

Snapshots: Venice
Not For Sale

Born in 1966 in Beijing, China.


Graduated from the Fine Arts Department ( majored in Oil
Painting), Capital Normal University, Beijing, China

Selected Solo Exhibitions:


Song Dong in London, installation and performance, Tablet,
London, UK   

1999 Jump, performance, Tian An Men, Beijing, and Venice, Italy

Temporary Office Construction, Video installation and
performance, Tao Gallery, Beijing, China


 Slap, video installation, Ruin for Arts, Berlin, Germany
1997.6.30 - 1997.7.1 60 min, performance, Shenzhen, China
Filling up the Sea With 158 Stones ( 1840-1997),
environmental performance, Shenzhen, China
LOOK, video installation, Contemporary Art Gallery, Beijing,


Taking It Out of A Brocade Bag, Video installation, Forty-One
Middle-High School, Beijing, China
Stamping the Water, performance, Lasa River, Tibet
Uncovering, video installation, Capital Normal University
Museum, Beijing, China
Still Breathing, performance, Tian An Men and Hou Hai,
Beijing, China


Heavenly Secret, sound installation, Hou Hai Teahouse,
Beijing, China
Bei Fang, installation, Zhao Yao Gallery, Beijing, China
Secret-Divulging, Installation, Ban Shang Hu Tong, Beijing,


Chinese Medicine, installation, Bao Fang Hu Tong No.12,
Beijing, China
Stone-Throwing, environmental performance shown in China,
Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Germany, USA, Macau, Italy,
Austria, France, India, Britain
Diary with Water, private and personal, ongoing


Life with Cultural Noodles, Installation, Ban Shang Hu Tong
No.23, Beijing, China
Video and installation, Forty-One Middle-High School, Beijing,
Another Lesson: Do You Want to Play with Me?, installation
show and performance, Central Academy of Fine arts Gallery,
Beijing, China

1992 Show of oil painting, Culture Palace, Beijing, China

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2001  Art Chicago 2001, Navy Pier, USA
 Art 32 Basel, Switzerland
Art Palm Beach, USA

The Flying Circus Project, Singapore
Worldwide Video Festival, Amsterdam
Cancel, Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, USA
Expo 2000, Hanover, Germany
Home: Chinese Contemporary Art Show, Shanghai, China
New Conceptual Photography: China Scene, Century Theatre
Gallery, Beijing, China
Microwave Festival 2000, Hong Kong
At the New Century, 1979 - 1999 Contemporary Art of China
Invitation Arts Exhibition, Chengdu Contemporary Art
Museum, China 

1999  Amsterdam Fest, Holland
Khoj International Artists Workshop, India
Cities on the Move 7, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki,
Beijing Document, Goethe Institute, Beijing, China
I Am Here, Bad Ems, Germany
Fast>>Forward: New Chinese Video Art, Macau
Contemporary Art Centre, Macau
Supermarker, Art for Sale, Shanghai, China
Transience: Chinese Art at the End of The Twentieth Century,
Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, USA
Transmedial - 99, The Ninth Video Fest, Berlin, Germany

It's Me! A Profile of Chinese Contemporary Art in the '90s,
Forbidden City, TaiMao, Beijing, China
Inside Out: New Chinese Art Exhibition, P.S.1. Contemporary
(touring exhibition) Art Center, New York, USA
Space and Vision, Beijing Contemporary Art Gallery, China
Site Art Project, Tokyo, Japan
Transmedial - 98, The Eight Video Fest, Berlin, Germany
Trace of Existence: A Private Showing of China Contemporary
Art '98, Art Now Studio, Beijing, China


Wildlife Starting from 1997 Jingzhe, off-site project directed by
Song Dong at Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou,
'97 Contemporary Art in Fuzhou, Fujian, China

1997 Borderline, Steirischer Herbst '97, Graz, Austria
Demonstration of Video Art '97 China, Central Academy of
Fine Arts Gallery, Beijing, China
Sculpture and Installation Exhibition in Nanshan, Shenzhen,
Suwon City - Beijing, China

First Academic Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art, China
National Gallery and Capital Normal University Museum,
Beijing, China
'96 Chinese Contemporary Art Reality: Present and Future,
International Art Palace's Gallery, Beijing, China
'96 International Com-Art Show in Suwon (with artists
participating from China, Korea and Japan), Suwon City,
Keeper of Water, United Project for Outdoor Experiment with
International Artist, Tibet
In the Name of Art, Shanghai Art Museum, China
Documents of Chinese Avant-Garde Art, Q Gallery, Japan
Out of he White Cube, Hong Kong

1995 Art Critics' Nomination Show of Sculpture and Installation,
Beijing, China
File No.1 Conceptual Documents for Impossible Art, New York
Open Your Eyes, Close Your Mouth, Beijing and Berlin
Communication Exhibition, Capital Normal University
Museum, Beijing, China 
'95 Kwangju Biennial, Kwangju, Korea
New Asian Art Show (with artists participating from China,
Korea and Japan), Tokyo and Osaka, Japan          
'95 outdoor Art, Beijing, China
Sound, Performance, Beijing, China
1994  '94 International Com-Art Show in Beijing (with artists
participating from China, Korea and Japan), Capital Normal
University Museum, Beijing, China
'94 Outdoor Art, Beijing, China
POST-OCTOBER 1ST, Zhao Yao Gallery, Beijing, China
Hanmuo Art Agenda, Hanmuo Art Centre, Beijing, China
The Third Document Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art,
Shanghai, China
1993  Exhibition of Modern Art in China, Singapore
1992 The First Biennial Art Exhibition, Guangzhou, China
1991 The First Annual Exhibition of Chinese Oil Painting, Chinese
History Museum, Beijing, China
1990 Art Exhibition of Chinese Oil Painting, Tokyo and Osaka,
1989 The seventh National Exhibition of Fine Arts, Nanjing Museum,
1988 New Time Painting Exhibition, China National Gallery, Beijing,
1987 The First National Exhibition of oil Painting, Shanghai, China



Award to Cai Guoqiang and Award to Rent Collector's
Courtyard, websites, Chinese-art.com

Artist's Statement:

Contrary to the enclosed and protective private realm that governs the imagery of 'Parents', Song Dong approaches the same social space of a home openly and permissively, as demonstrated by his photographic installation Family Members, 1998. Projecting the Song family portrait onto a screen, the artist invited museum visitors to stand in for any of the family members in the portrait. He then photographed the participants, so the completed work resembled a pseudo-Song Song family portrait, peopled by strangers who 'displaced' or, more accurately, overlapped with the original occupants. The Song family was photographed in diverse urban spaces, such as handsome home or racy Beijing Street, indicating the switch from private to public space. The involvement of strangers in Song Dong's work represents a welcome public intrusion upon privacy.

Like Wang Jinsong's parents, the Song family is arranged in a strict frontal view: Song's parents are placed in the centre, his brother and sister-in-law and their daughter to their right, and the artist and his wife (also a successful artist) to their left. The composition mirrors the patriarchal domination that compels prosperous Chinese families. But in Family Members strangers are welcome to replace any family members, regardless of age and sex. According to the artist's report, many men took over the father figure in the centre, and young women superseded the artist's wife to the far left. Without the presence of the actual family members, a purely visual, non verbal connection is established between the family and the strangers. In other words, the work allows for the articulation of ambivalent relationships, just as dreams, according to Freud, are often 'disguised fulfillments of repressed wishes'. In his psychoanalysis Freud characterized such dream experiences as ‘displacement’ and ‘condensation’. Not surprisingly, in Song Dong's daydreaming displacements game, male participants continue to desire authority and power in a patriarchal system (the Symbolic), where females crave romance or 'extramarital affairs' (the Imaginary). The incited stranger interferes freely with the family and yet no matter how many 'break-ins' take place, the family/marriage/ tradition model remains intact.

by “Art Asia Pacific Magazine” Issue 25

For further information, please contact:

Canada: tel: (1) 604.688.2633, fax: (1) 604.688.2685