Choi Jeong-Hwa: Love Me, Pig

DARLING HARBOUR PRECINCT, SYDNEY. 2 FEBRUARY – 18 FEBRUARY 2019.

To celebrate Lunar New Year 2019 in the Darling Harbour precinct, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (4A) is creating a special installation to mark the festival. Leading international artist Choi Jeong-Hwa has collaborated with 4A to present a continuation of his Happy Happy Project with his world-renowned inflatable flying pink pig Love Me, Pig visiting Sydney for the first time. Two editions of Love Me, Pig have been adapted for display as part of the Lunar New Year Festival in Sydney and will be the centre point of celebrations in Darling Harbour, with one positioned outside the Chinese Garden of Friendship, and one outside the ICC.

Choi Jeong-Hwa has always been inspired by everyday objects where he builds oversized sculptures from moulded plastics and inflatables. His work is characterised by its ability to speak to audiences with Mr Choi seeking to make art not for museums or galleries but for everyone. In Sydney new editions of Love Me, Pig have been created to celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Pig and playfully celebrates the pig as an East Asian symbol for wealth, fortune and luck.

On the first weekend of the festival from Saturday 2 February, watch the pigs come to life for their first inflation and see live water painting from calligraphy expert, Master Dongyang, as he creates an engaging public performance, painting wishes for Sydney in the coming year – a special moment that will activate these spaces. Audiences will be invited to water paint their own wishes for the new year on the grounds around Love Me, Pig.

After the painting event to coincide with the opening of the Lunar New Year festival, Love Me, Pig will remain on display until February 18, throughout the New Year celebrations.

Choi Jeong-Hwa (b. 1961 Seoul, South Korea) is an artist and designer whose work moves between the disciplines of visual art, graphic design, industrial design and architecture. Inspired by the harmony and chaos of the urban environment, Choi undermines the hierarchy of the museum by installing his pieces on the outside of buildings.

His playful practice comments on the privileged environment of art institutions and questions the prized status of artworks amidst a consumer-frenzied world. He is well known for large scale surreal installations from found objects. He constructed a 10-storey building installation made from 1,000 discarded doors, and decorated Seoul’s Olympic Stadium with garlands made from 2 million pieces of trash, transforming the building’s surface into glittering, jeweled structure. In his other pieces, he explores ideas of artificiality and permanence through the use of plastic, food, and flowers.

Choi participated in many Art festivals and exhibitions. He was the Korean representative in “Secret Beyond the Door”(2005), at Venice Biennale, Italy. Most recently he participated in the Bangkok Art Biennale (2018), The Asia Pacific Triennial (2015) at QAGOMA and has held a solo exhibition Choi Jeong Hwa: Happy Together (2016) at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. He declines to categorize his work, leaving the audience to define his pieces at a personal level, as his motto states: “My art is your heart”.