Ringing in the new #YearOfTheOx
with an augmented reality art installation embracing tradition, innovation, and
unity in multicultural London.
Andrew Wong, Chef Patron of recently crowned, 2 Michelin starred restaurant A.Wong in Pimlico and London-based, multi-media artist, Gordon Cheung have joined forces to create a cutting edge, interactive, art installation to celebrate Chinese New Year 2021.
When it became apparent the lockdown would extend into the month of February, the two met in a creative collaboration to exchange their knowledge, thoughts and nostalgia about Chinese New Year. Reviewing the symbolism of their shared history and culture, inspired the creation of “The Year of the Ox” by Gordon Cheung.
In partnership with Rémy Martin, the public artwork will take the form of a vinyl mural wrapped around the restaurant’s newly installed terrace, to be enjoyed by everyone. In addition, it can be enjoyed further through a “Year of the Ox” app on Android or Apple smartphone, accessed via a QR code located on the work. This will bring the art to life in digital animation: beautiful flowers will grow and the mural with the ox will glisten and transform.
Gordon explains, “It's been a tough time for many of us and Andrew and I wanted to offer a moment that could bring a smile to people. We both strive to express our passions and energy by channeling the stories within our souls from which beautiful food and art are created. Dim Sum means 'touch the heart' in Chinese and to me means gathering with family to create wonderful memories united around tasty meals. For this project, we both thought it was important to give back to the community with a positive message of joy, good luck and to wish for health and prosperity for the new year.”
Andrew and Gordon are British born Chinese, who grew up navigating between Eastern and Western cultures. They have found uniquely different ways to express their creativity and share an artistic connection. Both have achieved high acclaim in their respective industries by translating their present-day craft through ancient cultural symbolism.
Andrew adds, “The celebrations here in London have extended over time to include the whole community, not just Chinese and for the second year in a row, we won’t be able to come together at Chinese New Year as we normally do. As we’re still in lockdown, Gordon and I wanted to give something back to London - something free of charge that was fun; to lift the spirits after so much sadness and just find a moment of happiness, humanity and beauty. The restaurant sadly will have to remain closed, but we can still use the outside as a medium to project a bit of optimism and hope for the New Year.”
Rémy Martin has long been an advocate of craftsmanship, passion and excellence, qualities it shares with both artist and chef, and throughout China is synonymous with its New Year hopes of success and good fortune. Launching this unique artwork with Andrew and Gordon on February 11th at this key occasion in the Chinese calendar, the partnership will springboard a series of exciting offerings and wider convivial activities that will continue throughout the Year of the Ox, heralding a prosperous, bright and harmonious future for all.
Gordon Cheung’s site-specific public art installation at A. Wong titled “Year of the Ox” can be viewed through an Augmented Reality phone app where each element on the animated mural symbolises Chinese New Year. The flowering blossoms of the Spring season are represented by the peony as wealth and honour; lotus for purity of heart and chrysanthemum as health and longevity. Peaches represent immortality and the ox for integrity rendered with Cheung’s signature glitch effect he refers to as the “digital sands of time”, offering a meditative space to question history’s narratives. From this artwork Chinese lion dancers and bitcoins emerge to ward off evil spirits, spreading good health and prosperity to celebrate new beginnings through a medium that embraces tradition, innovation and unity in multicultural London.
About Gordon Cheung
Gordon Cheung (1975) is a British born Chinese multimedia artist living and working in London. He is known for his innovative approach to painting, which blurs the line between virtual and actual reality to reflect upon the global relationship of the human condition within civilisation. Cheung graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting in 1998 from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London and earned his Masters in 2001 from the Royal College of Art in London. Cheung has held international solo exhibitions in London, New York, Dubai, Shanghai, Rome, San Paulo, Miami, and Hong Kong, and his works featured in notable collections including Asian Art Museum; British Museum; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Hood Museum of Art; HSBC Art Collection; Museum of Modern Art; UBS Art Collection; Yale Center of British Art.
About Andrew Wong
Andrew Wong is an anthropologist, cultural observer, and chef-owner of London’s Michelin-starred A. Wong Restaurant. British born of Chinese heritage, his environment and nurture have had equal impact. The marriage of both, combined with a strong academic background, has led to a cooking style that has one foot placed firmly in the future and the other inspired by the past. He trained as a chef in London, travelled to China to study at the Sichuan Culinary Institute in Chengdu, and journeyed across the country throughout various kitchens learning the methods and artistry of Chinese cooking. In 2012, he opened A. Wong, in the same location as his parents’ Cantonese restaurant – with a name honouring his parents, Alfred and Annie.
About Rémy Martin
Since 1724, Rémy Martin is the embodiment of Cognac Fine Champagne. For nearly three hundred years, the House has pursued one ambition: turning a small piece of French terroir into one of the world’s finest cognacs from Fine Champagne — a signature blend of Grande and Petite Champagne crus. At Rémy Martin, we believe that every accomplishment is shaped by combinations. Assembling our ingredients, combining our skills, associating our qualities, connecting our emotions, we work together as one to instil passion, excellence and savoir-faire. We team up for excellence.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is augmented reality (AR)?
AR is the rendering of digital images or data onto real world objects – in the case of the #YearOfTheOx, the rendering of Gordon Cheung’s digital artworks onto the conservatory of the A. Wong Restaurant.
How do I view the art installation?
Stand across the street and point your phone camera towards the conservatory of A. Wong Restaurant London to experience our #YearOfTheOx augmented reality. Capture it in a photo or video and share with your family and friends in the spirit of Chinese New Year!
This app needs access to: your phone’s camera in order to view and render the digital artwork onto the conservatory and take pictures and/or videos; microphone to record audio for the video; and your photo library to save pictures and/or videos.
The app does not need to be connected to the internet to view the AR art installation.
Limitations and restrictions
Problems and limitations may arise when surrounding conditions are not static (for example, weather or object obstructions from though not limited to rain, wind, snow, or passing vehicles). Avoid viewing the installation from anywhere that could cause harm to self or others.