Song Dong again

This is the Beijing based contemporarry performance artist whose ‘waste not’ piece was on at MOMA New York this summer.  I have just discovered another piece by him that I really like.. it captures such an something so personal and intimate and yet so ephemeral..   Reminds me a lot of the work of Andy Goldsworthy and yet rooted in a totally different tradition.

Song Dong
Writing diary with water (detail) 1995–present
4 colour photographs, ed. 11/12
40 x 60cm each
Collection: The artist

Below is a text about this piece of work from the Webiste of the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art:

Writing diary with water 1995–present comprises four photographs that document an ongoing performance project.
Since 1995, Song Dong has used a calligraphy brush to write daily diary entries in water on a particular block of stone. When Song Dong was a child, his father encouraged him to practise his calligraphy in water on stone because they could not afford ink and paper. As an adult, he returned to this practice when he realised that conventional diary writing posed a risk of disclosure:

‘You might not think about this generally but during the diary writing process consider that someone else might be reading this someday. Since considering this I stopped writing a traditional diary’. (1)

Through this invisible journal, Song Dong engages in the process of diary keeping, knowing that his diary will never be read and that his thoughts will remain secret. The water diary has now become an important part of his life and art:

‘After a while this stone slowly became a part of me. That means I could say anything to it and be unscrupulous. This act became a part of life and it made me more relaxed.’ (2)


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