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Barbican exhibition confuses visitors

The free exhibition space at the Barbican is called the Curve and a recent exhibition that has been put on there might leave visitors feeling as if they have accidentally stepped into a storage area that should be off-limits.

Modern art installations have made people somewhat aware of art that looks more like a collection of random objects, but this latest collection goes beyond what has been seen in the past.

In this installation there are a wide variety of different objects including discarded toys, washing-up bowls, and plastic bottle tops. One of the greatest puzzles is the collection of empty toothpaste tubes which have remained a part of the installation since it was first put together in 2005.

The installation was put together by Song Dong, the Chinese artist who has called the collection Waste Not. Dong was born in Beijing and has exhibited work all around the world. His works are very varied in range from sculptures and paintings, to video art. This collection of objects at the Curve is his first show that he has ever put together for the UK.

There are 10,000 objects in the collection and most of them are very small. They are the sorts of things that clutter up homes, such as used up ballpoint pens, strange food containers, and broken crockery.

Some of the objects in the collection, such as the toothpaste tubes, could have been returned for money, and it is likely this is why the collection built up. However, as is often the case with these things, the objects were never returned. The items have all come from China, however this does not mean that they will be unrecognisable to a Western audience. You are sure to recognise some items as you walk around the exhibition.


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