Waste Not was first displayed in Beijing at the Beijing Tokyo Art Projects in 2005. As of 2012, it has been shown at eight museums and galleries including the Barbican Centre, London; The exhibit consists of thousands of domestic objects such as toothpaste tubes, bowls, toys, bottle tops, crockery, cutlery, food containers and ballpoint pens, arranged in neat rows or piles.They are ordered purely by use and type rather than by colour, shape of texture, and are identically spaced from their neighbours; they have no inherent aesthetic value.The exhibit is curated by Song Dong, his wife and fellow artist Yin Xiuzhen and his sister Song Hui. It takes its name from the Chinese adage wù jìn qí yòng (物尽其用), translated roughly as "waste not, want not" but more literally as "anything that can be somehow of use, should be used as much as possible".


© Daria Terenteva, all rights reserved