‘Waste Not’ installation by Song Dong at Carriageworks

Guest Contributors – Vin and Priyanka Rathod

From 3 ‘R’s of sustainable principles – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – ‘Reuse’ has most power of creating innovative and refreshing objects, that also have an embedded cultural value. Like inheritance from our ancestors, the reused objects have a story, making them very special, unlike mass produced things we buy everyday. This is why the installation Waste Not by artist Song Dong is one of its kind. And the fact that it has been housed under Carriageworks - a Waste Not, modern cultural space created by reusing the old Eveleigh rail yard in Sydney – makes it extraordinarily unique.

Waste Not is translated from Wu jin qi yong: anything that can somehow be of use, should be used as much as possible.

From paper bags to leather bags, bowls to bottles, bird cages and empty boxes, Waste Not is a massive collection by the artist’s mother, either out of fear of shortage or to reuse them as something else or because it reminded her of her deceased husband. The art compelled all visitors to feel the daily life of a whole generation of Chinese people, and question the everyday waste we generate today.

Televisions, record players and radios … the collection had it all. We overheard a visitor telling her friend “Doesn’t that bring back memories?!”

Presence of a home in the centre as a main focal point of the display, enhances the domestic nature of the collection, and ties it all together. The efforts of assembling, disassembling and transporting the house, over and above all the collected items, is well worth it.

Carriageworks, as a reused space, forms a perfect backdrop for the art installation. A great example of how architecture can add value to art.

Launched during Sydney Festival last month, Waste Not is on display until March 7th at Carriageworks. It is a perfect time to explore Carriageworks if you haven’t done so already.

Images by Vin Rathod, text by Priyanka Rathod.

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens

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