Cities for supper. Song Dong and his biscuit’s installations

Song Dong, Eating the City

As for any great artist who is worthy to talk about labeling Song Dong within a single artistic medium would be to diminish the total artist who shows himself in every action, in every installation or sculpture. Born in 1966 in Beijing, he experienced the mad transformations that Chinese society is making to the territory. For those who live in China today, whether native or expats, the city, this gargantuan contemporary village, is a pulsating being in which every individual constitutes a single superfluous cell. Song Dong is a builder; he builds cities. In 2006 is his series Eating the City he represents cities made of biscuits. Barcelona, ​​London, Oxford, Hong Kong, Shanghai and his own Beijing rudimentally rebuilt in large installations mounted within a few days to be presented to the public who will finally eat them on the presentation day.

“The” question then arises: is it the city that eats you or is you eating the city? The message of Song isn’t  fortunate at all and aims to focus on the massive building speculation in force in the Chinese metropolis, an unstoppable wave that throws the past to the ground and that sometimes does not stop even in front of important architectural finds then reconstructed on the ashes of the originals. Song, the victim himself of the aforementioned metropolitan expansion, chooses biscuits not only because they are very similar to bricks, in his opinion, despite being delicious, they cause nausea if eaten greedily.

Those who eat the city of Song suddenly find themselves playing the role of the destroyer, who without restraint demolishes and then rebuild making the world a gray, mediocre and ordinary urban agglomeration so that, as the artist claims: “In the future the journey will be a tradition of ancient times. I come from Beijing, a city that today does not present greater differences than in Shanghai or Hong Kong”. Asian cities grow exponentially, feeding themselves on urban rubble, feeding themselves on futile hopes for a varied future, now more than ever the horizons are a neon-lit cement dream.