Song Dong used 10,000 of his mother's personal belongings in his most recent installation called Waste Not, currently on exhibit at the Barbican Centre in London. Dong's mother, Zhao Xiangyuan, was born into a prosperous family in 1937 but the huge political changes of the '50s+'60s meant family fortunes waned. Dong's father was branded a counter-revolutionary. "In that time my mother's life was very hard. So she started to keep everything, even the smallest things seemed quite valuable. Then later China opened up and my family started to become wealthier again. But my mother still refused to throw anything away. Her motto was always 'waste not'." Dong's mother died in 2009 but he had started work on his project four years earlier. In part he was documenting what had happened to his family, looking back at China's years of change.
Projects 90: Song Dong at MoMA.