Quirky pandas right at home in Kingsford
12 December, 2017

Surprise Dumplings featuring a family of cheeky pandas

A family of cheeky pandas has traded forest life for a new habitat on a busy Kingsford street, creating an adorable spectacle for passers-by.

Just weeks ago the corner of Borrodale Road and Anzac Parade was a fairly nondescript spot, now it is anything but ordinary with the six pandas helping transform the space into a joyful, Instagram-worthy destination.

Surprise Dumplings was created by Hand2Land Studios, an experimental collaboration of young landscape architects Fergus McCarthy, Lewis Haig and Sibyl Jia, who together created the quirky installation to inspire joy and provoke curiosity.

The pandas make fitting companions for Mimi Tong’s vibrant artwork Vintage Enamelware, painted onto the footpath in a floral burst of bold colours inspired by Chinese homewares.

Following a successful sculptural collaboration earlier in the year, work colleagues Fergus, Lewis and Sibyl decided to join forces on another creative project.

“The three of us were just sitting in a bar one afternoon after work sharing some drinks and we just started brainstorming, we had found a flyer for ArtMoves in a café and decided to throw three designs together and Surprise Dumplings was one of them,” Lewis said.

Fergus said the idea behind the pandas was simply to create an engaging light-hearted work that also paid tribute to Kingsford’s cultural character.

“We wanted the design to be fun and interactive and to reflect the Asian influence of the area,” he said.

“It will liven up the space and the more people that interact with the space the better it will become, hopefully people will stop and see the pandas and take a bit of time out to interact with them - it’s something you don’t see every day.

“It also works really well with Mimi’s work, they interact and play off one another and make that a quirky little place compared with what it was.”

Sibyl said the trio hoped the artwork would draw people in to see the pandas and encourage visitors to then stop in at one of Kingsford and Kensington’s many cafes and restaurants.

Located outside a very popular restaurant, the pandas will also be a fun distraction for diners waiting outside for a table, Lewis said.

While the trio were able to draw on their extensive combined skill sets and design and planning experience, Sibyl said Surprise Dumplings was a departure from their usual work, taking on more of an art focus.

Surprise Dumplings is the last of seven artworks installed at five sites along Anzac Parade in Kingsford and Kensington.

ArtMoves is a public art project designed to transform the streets of Kingsford and Kensington with sculptures, street art, outdoor furniture and landscape designs, creating fresh spaces for the community to enjoy.

The art is transforming the streets by encouraging locals and visitors to explore the area and use these spaces in new ways.

For more information visit our ArtMoves page.

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