This interview was conducted in Song Haidong's home in Shanghai on 4 March 2009.


Song Haidong (b. 1958, Yangzhou) is an artist lives and works in Shanghai.

Since graduating from the Department of Sculpture at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now the China Academy of Art) in 1985, Song began teaching in the Fine Art College of Shanghai University. In 1986, Song and fellow artists formed the collective M Art Group and held a performance work at the Shanghai Workers Cultural Palace (Shanghai, 1986).

Song is considered to be one of the earliest artists to experiment with installation art in China. His work The Earth from Alien Eyes was exhibited at the ‘China/Avant-Garde Exhibition’ in Beijing in 1989.

Other selected exhibitions of Song’s work include 'Contemporary Chinese Art Now' (Tokyo Gallery, 1989), the 'Garage' exhibition (Shanghai, 1991), 'Solo Exhibition of Song Haidong' (Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture Institute, 1993), the 45th Venice Biennale (1993), ''85 New Wave' (Beijing Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, 2007) and ‘History in the Making: Shanghai, 1979–2009’ (Shanghai, 2009). Since 1994, Song studies Buddhism and traditional art.






In 2006, Asia Art Archive began a focused archiving project called 'Materials of the Future: Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art from 1980-1990'. This project aimed at developing a comprehensive collection of primary research materials including books, periodicals, newspapers, exhibition brochures, invitations, video recordings, correspondence, and other relevant documents. 

As part of this project, AAA digitised more than 80,000 items of material from personal archives to include artists Mao Xuhui, Wu Shanzhuan, Zhang Xiaogang, and Zhang Peili; curators and critics Fei Dawei, Lu Peng, and Zheng Shengtian; as well as the archives of Tokyo Art Gallery. As part of the research process over 75 in-depth interviews with key artists, curators, and critics were conducted. From a portion of these interviews, AAA created a documentary film about experimental art in South China (Guangzhou) in the 1980s entitled From Jean-Paul Sartre to Teresa Teng: Contemporary Cantonese Art in the 1980s.

AAA’s 1980s archiving project culminated with the launch of a comprehensive website portal called www.china1980s.org in September 2010.

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Interview with Song Haidong (Transcript, Simplified Chinese), 訪問:宋海東(抄本, 簡體中文)