As the Year of the Monkey draws to an end, people are getting ready to celebrate a new zodiac: the rooster.
This year’s LunarFest will be celebrating the Year of the Rooster through two different components: a three-day festival at Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza (January 27 to 29) and an art exhibition at Oakridge Centre (January 18 to February 6).
Organized by the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association (ACSEA), the three-day outdoor festival has relocated to a new location this year due to ongoing renovations at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza.
Some of its highlights include rooster winter games (mini sports activities), a song-writing workshop led by Juno nominees Ginalina and Michel Bruyer, musical performances by Lan Tung and Volodymyr Bedzvin, and Lunar crafts (think lanterns and origami), among many others.
“What we are doing is making sure that [Lunar New Year] is being celebrated as widely as possible throughout the city,” said Charlie Wu, managing director of ACSEA, told the Straight.
The second component of LunarFest 2017 is a series of rooster-themed artworks that are being showcased at Oakridge Centre.
Known as the “Art of the Roosters”, this exhibition features the works of emerging artists from Taiwan. Many of these young artists are students studying from YunTech University in Taiwan, who have interpreted the rooster zodiac and its characteristics that tie in with Lunar New Year.
“The reason why we brought these students in is because they celebrate [Lunar New Year] differently than what we celebrate here, in terms of resources and culture,” said Wu. “Vancouverites will have a chance to see how Lunar New Year is celebrated in Taiwan through the creativity and imagination of these young designers, so you can visualize yourself in Taiwan and share that culture.”
One of the featured artworks is “New Year “Dao””, created by Wang Hsin-Yi and Chu Yu-Ting. The piece showcases an upside-down traditional Taiwanese home in the 1970s, with a table set for dinner and the Chinese characters “Spring” and “Fortune” also flipped upside-down.
It is tradition for the Chinese characters to be inverted during Lunar New Year, as it is a way of wishing for the spring season and fortune.
“It is upside-down because it means that harmony has arrived,” explained Wang. “We turned the works upside-down to represent New Years and that fortune is coming.”
For more information on LunarFest and its complete schedule of activities and events, click here.
Scroll through the photos below for a first glance at the Art of the Roosters exhibition.