SONG DONG’S ‘WISDOM OF THE POOR: COMMUNAL COURTYARD’ GIVEN TO THE ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO

This will take up serious storage space. It’s an “immersive” labyrinth of 100 Chinese doors assembled by Beijing avant-garde artist Song Dong (b.1966) – originally for the Venice Biennale – and now in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario. The armoire doors were rescued from within the Beijing hutongs, a vast network of laneway housing either being demolished or gentrified, in a capital city that’s been expanding and rebuilding at breakneck speed. ‘The Wisdom of the Poor’ addresses the role of traditional architecture in today’s changing urban environment. <PHOTO – Song Dong, Pace Gallery>. <Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West>