Song Dong, Communal Courtyard

Song Dong Wisdom of the Poor: Communal Courtyard  2011-2013. Installation View, The Margulies Collection

Song Dong’s Communal Courtyard

January 30 - July 26, 2016


Transforming the AGO’s Signy Eaton Gallery into a series of snaking walkways and small rooms reminiscent of Beijing’s traditional communal living spaces, the exhibition Song Dong’s Communal Courtyard invites visitors to lose themselves inside a unique installation of 100 vintage Chinese wardrobe doors.

Evocative of the contemporary urban experience from Beijing to Toronto, in which traditional architectures and ways of living together are being threatened by rapid growth, this thoughtful, playful and materially rich installation—itself titled Wisdom of the Poor: Communal Courtyard—invites audiences to reconsider how we might hold onto some elements of tradition while radically reimagining them for the present.

This installation has changed with each presentation, coming to life each time as a home for other art, and for all those who visit. For Communal Courtyard’s debut at the AGO, Song Dong selected works from the gallery’s collection — works by Murray Favro, On Kawara, Sol Lewitt, René Magritte, Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol — which encourage a dialogue about notions of "public" and "private." The AGO has also programmed a series of in-gallery residencies by local artists, who will transform the space in new and intimate ways.

Song Dong is a Beijing-based multidisciplinary artist and leading figure within the Chinese avant-garde. The work presented in Song Dong’s Communal Courtyard is part of the artist’s long-running series The Wisdom of the Poor and makes its Canadian debut at the AGO.

Wisdom of the Poor: Communal Courtyard is a gift from the Martin Z. Margulies Foundation, Miami and will remain in the AGO’s collection.

This exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and included with general admission.


Wednesday, January 27
5:30 pm
Baillie Court
Learn more


Wednesday, January 27
6 – 8:30 pm
Walker Court


January 27 – March 12
Wednesdays 6-8 pm
Thursdays 2-4 pm
Fridays 6-8 pm
Saturdays 2-4 pm
Learn more


Basil AlZeri
March 30 – April 23

Peter Chin
April 27-May 14

Eventual Ashes with Red Slam Collective
May 18-June 4

Bill bissett and artists of Workman Arts
June 8-25

Annie Wong
June 29-July 16

Learn more



2016130 ― 2016717

《宋冬的大雜院》展覽將安省美術館(AGO)的Signy Eaton Gallery幻化成一系列蜿蜒走道和小房間,讓人聯想起老北京傳統的共式生活空間;更讓觀眾迷失於以100扇舊式中國衣櫃門組成的獨特裝置藝術之中。



《窮人的智慧:大雜院》是邁阿密的Martin Z. Margulies Foundation饋贈,將留作安省美術館的固定藏品。




Lead supporters

Be the first to find out about AGO exhibitions and events, get the behind-the-scenes scoop and book tickets before it’s too late.
You can unsubscribe at any time.