Artist
Artist: Pamela See
Date Installed
Installed 1 Feb 2012
Location
Dixon Streetscape 1, 5020 Dixon Street, HAYMARKET, 2000
Tag
Tags: Building, Multicultural
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Artwork Description

Pao Cha (to steep tea), created by artist Pamela Mei-Leng See, envelops the Red Lantern Information Kiosk in Chinatown. This artwork is a key component of the Chinatown Kiosk designed by Frost Design and Lacoste + Stevenson Architects.

In the middle of Chinatown exists a former seating Pagoda that has been converted into a tourist information kiosk. The new enclosure is treated as a patterned red lantern by day which is illuminated by night. The lantern sits to the side of pedestrianised Dixon Street, on a plinth that resolves the steeply sloping Goulburn Street footpath.

The lantern is inserted as a new volume inside the existing pagoda structure. It consists of 2 semi-circular halves that are clad with patterned, curved glass. The sliding semi-circle of glass screens open to reveal a hot red interior that houses a wall of shelving for brochures, pamphlets and tourist information. Symbolising the Chinese community in Australia, flowers, fish and birds are intricately carved into glass. The kiosk is illuminated by night which gives it a patterned red lantern effect.
The screen design, which has been taken from paper cuts, represents the residual chrysanthemum flowers in a ceramic vessel after the tea has been steeped and poured. In addition to the symbolism of making a tea reading for good fortune, the ceramic pattern underneath the flowers is intended to bring prosperity (fish) and longevity (stork).

The kiosk won a Small Project Architecture award at the 2012 NSW Architecture awards.

Artist

Pamela Mei-Leng See is a Brisbane based artist of Chinese descent who practices a contemporary form of traditional Chinese paper cutting.

INSCRIPTION

The screen design, which has been taken from paper cuts, represents the residual chrysanthemum flowers in a ceramic vessel after the tea has been steeped and poured.  In addition to the symbolism of making a tea reading for good fortune, the ceramic pattern underneath the flowers is intended to bring prosperity (fish) and longevity (stork).

Chinatown Public Art Program

A new series of public art projects was initiated in 2010 to revitalise and extend Chinatown’s public spaces.

The program is based on extensive community consultation and developed by Curatorial Advisor Aaron Seeto as part of the Chinatown Public Domain Plan.

The approach recognises the existing artworks commissioned in 1999 and the character of this vibrant urban area.

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