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Concret Labour

temporary sculptures

Himalaya Art Museum

Shanghai

2010

 

The project Concrete Labour compares two extremes of energy consumption: the energy involved in physical labour versus the energy spent for the purpose of cultural reflection.

The energy embodied in the physical structure of the museum is equated with the energy consumed in the physical labour of Shanghai’s informal waste collection and recycling trade. The project compares the individual act of collecting scraps using very basic tools to the abundant space of cultural contemplation built with the latest construction methods and large machines.

For this project the material collected during one waste picker’s working day was bought and turned into a sculptural object. By interacting with the object the audience can perform the collector’s daily work movements of picking up, lifting and pulling material.