Sydney Lunar Flora (Daughter & Son collaboration)
2019 – 2020
3 round birch ply panels, 100 cm – 120 cm diameter, 22 cm deep each
Daughters of the Dragon, Gallery Lane Cove, 30 January – 27 February 2020
Inspired by botanical symbols in Chinese art history, Sydney Lunar Flora is a collaborative triptych with my children that celebrates the spring summertime flora in Sydney.
Walking around my local neighbourhood, I observe the native red bottlebrush and crimson kangaroo paw for its sculptural elegance, their striking silhouette can be spotted from a distance. My children Isabel (aged 6) and Lucas (aged 4) are drawn to the flowers in bloom that have made their way onto the ground – magenta bougainvillea, lilac jacaranda and white and yellow frangipani. Isabel assumes the role of street florist, as we (slowly) walk she forages and arranges her bouquet. The path dotted with fallen flowers on the ground takes on the appearance of an incidental painting.
The loud and brash sights and sounds associated with the Lunar New Year holiday are distilled in the rich palette that includes classical Chinese flowers – the red peony and peach blossom, enduring symbols of auspicious beauty and prosperity. On reflecting the cultural traditions that I have chosen to pass on to my children, the desire to create a portrait of this place, at this time is a natural act of confluence.
© Mimi Tong 2023