Song Dong: 36 Calendars

When 22 Jan - 8 Feb 2013
Where ArtisTree, 1/F Cornwall House, TaiKoo Place, Island East


Co-presented by Asia Art Archive and Mobile M+, WKCDA

On 22 January 2013, Beijing-based artist Song Dong (b. 1966) opens his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. Entitled ‘Song Dong: 36 Calendars’, the exhibition is co-presented by Asia Art Archive (AAA) and Mobile M+ of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

Conceived and initiated during his residency at AAA in October 2011 and January 2012, Song spent more than a year realising this ambitious participatory project which involves the re-writing of the last 36 years of history (1978-2013) from his personal perspective in the form of 36 years of hand-drawn, wire-bound annual household wall calendars. Each of the 432 months is accompanied by a sketch of a significant historical event, relaying Song’s longtime interest in socio-political history, individual experience, and art history.

During the exhibition opening, Song Dong invites over 400 members of the public to collaborate with him to complete the project by adding, changing, or editing individual months according to their own memories of historical events. Alongside Song Dong’s version of the calendar, participants’ creations will add another layer to the artwork, on display throughout the exhibition period from 22 January to 8 February 2013.


22 January – 8 February 2013
Venue: ArtisTree, 1/F Cornwall House, 979 King's Road, Quarry Bay
Hours: 11am to 7pm


A series of related public and educational programmes around the project take place at ArtisTree during the exhibition.

Panel Discussion
Saturday 26 January
English and Cantonese | 1pm-3pm
Speakers: Prof David Clarke, Department of Fine Arts, the University of Hong Kong | Liu Heung Shing, Beijing-based photojournalist | Carol Yinghua Lu, Beijing-based critic and curator

Song Dong in conversation with Ou Ning, artist, curator, Chief Editor of Chutzpah!
Saturday 26 January
Mandarin with English interpretation | 4pm-5pm



Public Tour Led by Song Dong
Sunday 27 January
Mandarin | 11am-12pm

Weekend Guided Tours
Duration: 45 minutes

Saturday 26 January
English | 3pm
Cantonese | 5:30pm

Sunday 27 January
English | 4:30pm
Cantonese | 2pm | 5pm

Saturday 2 February
English | 11am
Cantonese | 2pm | 4:30pm

Sunday 3 February
English | 11am | 4:30pm
Cantonese | 2pm | 5pm

Guided Tours for School Groups
45-minute tours for primary and secondary school groups may be arranged on weekdays on request. Interested parties should return a completed reply slip to 36Calendars@aaa.org.hk or by fax to +852 2815 0021 by 16 January.


Socially engaged art varies in its use of traditional art objects, conceptual-based, research-based, and participatory elements, among many other forms, to arouse critical discussion about society. Song Dong’s current art project ‘36 Calendars’ is one example, demonstrating how contemporary art can invite multiple perspectives to re-think, re-present, and re-interpret the history of a culture. ‘36 Calendars’ by Song Dong provides a starting point for these workshops; other artworks that are similar in nature are also introduced. 

Visual Arts Teacher Workshop
Saturday 26 January
Cantonese | 11am-1pm
Teaching Artist: Clara Cheung

Liberal Studies Teacher Workshop
Saturday 2 February
Cantonese | 11am-1pm
Teaching Artist: Clara Cheung

Registration: 36calendars@aaa.org.hk



History = Histories
The narrative power of authority in this information boom drowns out individual voices. Our workshop for young people is a collective reflection on the value of history. Let’s be empowered to create histories that belong to us all.

This programme is organised by PageNEXT, initiated to introduce AAA to other young people (aged 15-30) and promote contemporary art in society.

Sunday 27 January
Guided tour
Cantonese | 2-2:30pm

Cantonese | 2:30-4:30pm
Registration: 36calendars@aaa.org.hk


Co-presented by

Asia Art Archive
Mobile M+, WKCD

Venue Sponsor
Swire Properties

Special Thanks to
Ronald & Johanna Arculli
Burger Collection
Ali & Amna Naqvi
Spring Workshop

Exclusive Newspaper Partner

Media Partner
The House News
Milk Magazine
Time Out Hong Kong

Supported by
Sutton PR Asia


Talk | Small stories, big history - ways of telling
Programme by the General Education Unit, The University of Hong Kong
Saturday 2 February
Cantonese | 2:30-4pm
Speaker: Dr C H Ng

There are two ways to write history. One looks for grand narratives. The other digs up personal stories. Some say they give us different histories. Some say there is only one. Grand narratives are, after all, composed of personal stories. Both are essential to understanding the variable paths of social development, especially for a place like Hong Kong, where the search for real or imagined collective identities is high on the cultural agenda. This can be seen in areas like women's history, popular culture, and the history of the 'people' in general. Dr C H Ng will share his involvement in related projects to expand on the why, what, and how of storytelling as a form of history.

More details and enquiries: gened@hku.hk | http://gened.hku.hk

Workshop | In the know: experiments in spatial memory
Programme by Adam Bobbette, Melissa Cate Christ, and Andrew Toland, Division of Landscape Architecture, HKU
Saturday 2 February
English | 4:30-6:30pm

This workshop will guide participants through a series of experiments in spatial memory, tracing and overlaying their present and past routine paths through the urban landscape of Hong Kong. The two-hour session will culminate in an idiosyncratic guidebook to the secret routes of the city through collage, mapping, and mixed media construction.

Limit: 50 participants
Registration and enquiries: info@stairculture.com

More details: www.stairculture.com

Sharing | a few footnotes
Programme by artmatters
Sunday 3 February
Cantonese | 11am-1pm

Usually printed in smaller sized font at the bottom of a page, footnotes are unimposing, yet sometimes more revealing than the main text. As these calendars footnote contemporary Chinese art within living memory, this programme brings in historical and artistic references to further footnote a few key moments.

Limit: 30 participants
Enquiries: Sumyi Li +852 6991 9637
More details: www.facebook.com/artmattershk

Group discussion| Invisible city, invisible people
Programme by 30SGroup
Sunday 3 February
Cantonese | 2:30-4:30pm

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino is a collection of surreal short stories about cities visited by the traveler Marco Polo. These are places where memory, desire, design, and sign are all met through philosophical experiments of transience, eternality, aging, and death.

Invisible People are the wanted and unwanted aesthetic of an unforgiving city. What do the most glorious and the most humble say?

Registration: events@30sgroup.org.hk
Enquiries: Helen Leung | helen@designgosocial.org.hk
More details: www.30sgroup.org

Affiliated Programme Partners:
Luke Ching
Adam Bobbette, Melissa Cate Christ, and Andrew Toland, Division of Landscape Architecture, HKU
General Education Unit, The University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong Society For Education In Art
Leung Mee Ping

This event is part of AAA Resident: Song Dong


  • Song Dong: 36 Calendars | Panel Discussion
  • Song Dong: 36 Calendars | Song Dong in Conversation with Ou Ning


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