The concept for this banner design came from the Pounding Rabbit in the Moon story and traditional rainbow costumes called saekdong jeogori. The Rabbit in the Moon, which is 2 rabbits pounding the rice cake mill on the moon, is the central reference.
The origins of the rabbit in the moon were handed down in China 2000 years ago as well as from Buddhist folklore in the 12th century. Many Koreans grew up hearing this fabled story. The rabbit is reflected on the banners in white. Based on the Chinese Zodiac, the rabbit is a tame creature representing hope and life for a long time. Another way of saying that the rabbit is the incarnation of the moon goddess and is always a symbol of purity and auspiciousness.
The moon is presented in a bright yellow as a symbol of positivity and a bright future for the year ahead. The rainbow traditional dress which Koreans wear to celebrate Lunar New Year called saekdong jeogori, which is believed to protect people from evil spirits and thus attract good fortune. This fabled story has been recreated by using traditional and contemporary myth references in a contemporary context on 6 banners reflecting the youth and energy of this country while also establishing connections with Asian and Australian cultures for Lunar New Year. This provides a symbiotic connection to culture, harmony, and a cause for celebration.
About the artist:
Hyun-Hee Lee is a Korean-Australian artist whose work traverses traditional Korean and Western art practices. She aims to establish a spiritual and cultural connection with her country of birth. Hyun-Hee achieves this by recreating and re-contextualising traditional religious rituals, cultural practices and customs in a contemporary context.
Hyun-Hee Lee has a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) from the National Art School. She was awarded the Bird Holcomb Foundation Honours Fine Art Scholarship in 2010. She also completed a Master of Fine Arts (Research) from the University of New South Wales Art and Design in 2015.
She has been awarded many residencies including a Red Gate Residency in Beijing, China and the Onslow/Storrier La cite International des Arts Paris Residency from the National Art School.
Hyun-Hee was the winner of the John Coburn Emerging Artist Award, under the auspices of the Blake Prize in 2012 and a finalist in 2013 and received acquisition award in JADA 2014, 2018 and 2022. Her works have been selected for numerous national art awards and prizes including HIDDEN Rookwood sculptures 2022, Dobell Drawing Prize 2021, Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award, Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize, Fisher’s Ghost Art Award, Sunshine Coast Art Prize and KAAF Art Prize. Also, she has been selected in the City of Sydney banner gallery design for the Sydney Lunar New Year Festival 2022 and 2023.