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Duddell’s Transforms Its Interiors To Unveil Interactive, Edible Exhibition Song Dong: Sketch With Contemporary Beijing Artist Song Dong

October 9, 2015 Dining No Comments Email Email

image011On 7 October, cultural and social destination Duddell’s transformed into a replica of its own blueprint to unveil Beijing-based artist Song Dong’s self-titled exhibition, Song Dong: Sketch. The leading contemporary conceptual artist took Duddell’s back to a variation of its original state to evoke a sense of unfinished work and invite guests and staff to become part of the “sketch,” now through 10 January 2016 while his exhibition is on display.

Song Dong: Sketch is one exhibition spread across two of Hong Kong’s central art venues: Duddell’s and Pace Gallery. Song Dong: Sketch at Duddell’s pays homage to Song Dong’s early works with photography and videos of his globally renowned installations, Eating the City, Edible Penjing, as well as ceramic sculptures. A collection of Song Dong’s more recent pieces, including Sauce Painting, will be exhibited at Pace gallery through 7 November 2015.

Upon entering Duddell’s at the exhibition opening, guests began their interactive discovery of Song Dong’s exhibition by observing blue masking tape around the perimeter of the ceilings, walls and staircases of the Hong Kong art institution. Every wall was adorned with blueprint-like numbers dictating specific measurements for each section of the room, mimicking an architect’s unfinished work. “Duddell’s is a space for experiencing life, so I used tape to connect the people inside of it (i.e. guests, culinary and service team), making them part of the artwork and conveying a message of ‘life is art’,” says Song. “We are inviting Duddell’s guests to enter a sketch full of unknown possibilities where food and art collide.”


Song Dong Edible City(Beijing edible city) Photo 143.1 cm x 70 cm

with frame:149.1 cm x 76 cm x 6cm

© Song Dong, courtesy of Pace Hong Kong and Duddell’s

Inspired by iconography and ideals of Taoism, Song Dong uses edible ingredients as his chosen medium of art and allows his viewers to consume and contemplate his art as a spiritual process. Exclusively during the 7 October opening event, Song Dong worked with a team of local artists and volunteers to act as “City Planner” in creating several “Edible City” biscuit sculptures to let his audience experience the process of a city’s creation and demolishment through the enjoyment of food. Using thousands of biscuits, bagels and baguettes in varying shapes, a dozen urban metropolises were created for event attendees to experience not only visually, but also through taste.*

“I believe that art should be consumable, both physically and mentally,” said Hong Kong artist Kobo Sin, who volunteered to help build the edible portion of the exhibition. I had heard about Song Dong’s previous performance projects, but this really brought to life the way he conceptualises his ideas into physical experiences, connecting art and people.”


An “edible city” designed for the opening of Song Dong: Sketch

The biscuits for the sculpture installation were generously donated by The Garden Co Ltd.

A significant figure in the progression of Chinese conceptual art, Song’s work ranges from sculpture and photography to performance and video with his works conveying themes of impermanence of change and transience of human endeavour. Through Song Dong: Sketch, Duddell’s brings the pertinent subject of consumption and destruction to the art conversation in Hong Kong. Song’s work highlights the reality of relentless expansion, progressive demolishment and the permanent impact of humanity’s greed for more.

Committed to celebrating work from both emerging and established artists in Asia, Duddell’s features year-round art programmes curated by respected forces in the international art community. Past curators who have exhibited at Duddell’s include Amelie von Wedel, Ai Weiwei, Gregor Muir, Danh Vo and Philip Tinari. Duddell’s Art Programme is overseen by the Art Committee, led by cultural leaders Yana Peel, William Zhao and Alan Lo.

At Duddell’s, guests can take their dining experience to the next level through the enjoyment of food as art and, in Song Dong’s words, “art as life.”


An “edible city” designed for the opening of Song Dong: Sketch

The biscuits for the sculpture installation were generously donated by The Garden Co Ltd.

*The biscuits for the sculpture installation were generously donated by The Garden Co Ltd.

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