Song Dong: Mayan Apocalypse Inspired “36 Calendars”

Song Dong: Mayan Apocalypse Inspired “36 Calendars”
Song Dong's entry for the month of the Mayan apocalyse, which first inspired his "36 Calendars"
(courtesy Song Dong)

While people around the world have been preparing for the possibility of the Mayan apocalypse, Chinese artist Song Dong has been responding to it in quite another way.

Song has created a massive work “Song Dong: 36 Calendars” in the form of 36 hand-drawn, wire-bound annual household wall calendars. In them, the artist has reimagined 36 years of history from his personal perspective, as well as socio-political, and art history.


Today, Song has released the December 2012 entry from his calendars, as pictured above. Song says the Mayan apocalypse is what sparked his idea to create “Song Dong: 36 Calendars.” The artist does not believe in the apocalyptic prediction and instead, takes the meaning of time and history into his own hands by literally rewriting the years.

Stories in Song’s calendars include writing on the Democracy Wall in Beijing in 1978, and his mother buying Coca-Cola when it first arrived in China in 1979. Song has left the calendar blank for next year and wants the public to help him fill it in. More than 400 people will be invited to the opening of his exhibition on January 21, 2013 and each person will take up a part of the calendar to fill up with their own memories and wishes. 

The exhibition “Song Dong: 36 Calendars” is co-presented by the Asia Art Archive and Mobile M+, which is a series of events and exhibitions curated by the M+ museum to engage the public before the completion of the venue in 2017. Dr Pi Li, Sigg Senior Curator of M+, says "Song Dong: 36 Calendars” gives us a chance to “share our collective memories of contemporary Chinese history.”

If you want to participate in the project then send a message with your name, birth year, contact number and email address to before January 10, 2013 -- that is, "If we survive to see tomorrow," says Dong.

See more at the Asia Art Archive website