‘TUMBALONG’ Heritage Artwork

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“Hi I’m Chris Yee, an artist based out of Ryde, Sydney Australia and this is my process for the Tumbalong Heritage Artwork, proudly in Haymarket, Chinatown Sydney

My work is largely illustrative and recently textiles influenced, but I like to think it is mostly driven by storytelling.

A lot of my stories and characters are influenced by my social upbringing, and I thought as someone identifying of the new Asian-Australian identity, it was something that I could help infuse with the rich industrial and cultural history of the past.

The Tumbalong artwork itself is titled around the original name given to the area by the indigenous people of the Cadigal Clan, The dancing characters acting as a modern expression of the hunting and gathering traditions of the cockle’s and Guman pines throughout the area.

The artwork also pays tribute to the costume and profession of the area, being of great historical importance to the industrial change in this country. So pictured in the artwork you can see the John Dickson Steam mill, The famous Biddell Brothers confectionary factory, The Cormack Cooperage and in most recent history the late, great Sydney Entertainment centre.

After being graciously asked by Emilyia, Lily and the team at Art Pharmacy to conceptualise and draft the artwork, we then went to the experts at Sydney based production, Axolotl to materialise everything and breathe the artwork to life.

It means a lot for me as a Chinese-Sydney born artist to leave my mark on the area. I feel that this is an important time for change in Sydney, so I’m humbled and honoured to share my perspective and personal relationship with the evolving community and people, whilst help bridge the gap of stories from the past. “

Special Thanks to Lendlease and the City of Sydney!

Artist: Chris Yee
Artwork Production: Art Pharmacy
Fabrication: Axolotl
Video: Babekuhl
Photography: Billy Ryan, Chris Yee, Jodie Barker, Andrew Yee, Eva Li, Darren Luk
Music: Kase Avila
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Public Opening Ceremony – 23.1.20

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