Valerie Khoo’s creative interpretation of the 10th animal of the zodiac is brought to life by dozens of ovoid shaped lights draped on a metal frame. The effect is symbolic of the idea that many parts can combine to create a beautiful and unique whole just as Sydney is made up of a multitude of individuals, cultures, ideas and histories. Bringing them together not only showcases them in their own right but stands as a celebration of the city’s diversity.
The elegance of the lights juxtaposed against an industrial brushed metal comb, wattle, tail and legs represents the concept of yin and yang.
It is with great excitement that Valerie unveils her radiant rooster lantern in celebration of the city she loves and has called home for 40 years. The impressive installation was inspired by a cherished childhood memory of a humble red cellophane rooster lantern. One of the few toys Valerie brought with her to Sydney when her family immigrated from Singapore in 1975.
About the artist Valerie’s connection to this installation is a deeply. personal one. As a child, she was obsessed with chickens. Lighting her little red rooster lantern each Lunar New Year helped Valerie feel connected to her country of birth.
These days, Lunar New Year revolves around feasting for her family, starting with the traditional lo hei prosperity toss where the family tosses a raw fish salad together.
For Valerie, this Lunar New Year represents her journey coming full circle – from being a new Australian to one who gives back through her art.
You can experience Valerie’s rooster lantern at East Circular Quay (North) as part of the Lunar Lantern walk.