The Way of Chopsticks

It's called The Way of Chopsticks and it's a collaboration between husband and wife artists from Beijing, and there's even a few works from their 10-year old daughter.

The Way of Chopsticks takes over every gallery in the Philadelphia Art Alliance. The first floor uses recycled objects to represent traditional Chinese culture. Philadelphia Art Alliance Senior Curator Sarah Archer says, "The era that they grew up in was really about everyone living the same way, everyone having the same furniture, the same clothes, the same resources."

The couple has never collaborated on this scale before. They did it by working independently. "It's a secret," says artist Song Dong, "So we decide the size then we separate to do."

The result is his and her side-by-side sculptures designed to be mates.

"The way of chopsticks, that phrase, refers to this way of collaborating," says Archer, "so it's about equal partnership, two things that can't function without each other."

While the first floor is metaphorical, the second is literally giant chopsticks, one created by their 10-year old daughter who is the inspiration for the entire exhibition. "We're really worried about future because our daughter is our future," says Dong. The third floor has photographs offering a 360-degree view of old and new Beijing and his and her movies with the daughter as the star of the show. "It depicts a kind of dystopic future in which she's the only person in the world," says Archer, "so it's sort of taking the notion of the only one child policy to its absurd extreme."

The Way of Chopsticks runs through December 29th. Go to for tickets and museum hours. Or you can visit to learn about other area events. Just click on the entertainment channel on the left hand side.

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