Last week the Chinese Year of the Sheep was rung in with celebrations around the globe…
The heart of London was overrun with the spirit of celebration last week as the celebrations for the Year of the Sheep took to the streets. The largest of Chinese New Year celebrations in the UK, the celebrations in London saw more than 1000 performers providing entertainment through music, dance and acrobatics, with a procession leading from Trafalgar Square to Shaftesbury Avenue.
The sheep is set to rule in London over the next year with the news that Shaun in the City – an installation of statues of Shaun The Sheep around London and Bristol – is set to hit the streets in the coming month. In honour of the Chinese celebrations, two of the Shaun statues have been unveiled adorned with Chinese decoration. The Shauns will each be designed and decorated by artists and celebrities, with the two Chinese statues designed by Simon Farrell and Ashley Boddy.
The two Shaun statues, pictured below flanking the generic Aardman “Classic Shaun” himself, have given us all a sneak peak at just what is coming up when Shaun takes over the big city. Released in celebration of the Chinese New Year, Simon Farrell’s “Jingtai” Shaun is designed with influences from the ancient Cloisonné style of artistry, commonly seen in ceramic art and jewellery from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Often referred to as Jingtai Blue, the ornate style of decoration has given Shaun an oriental makeover just in time to join the Year of the Sheep celebrations.
Ashley Boddy’s “Shanghai-Shaun” depicts the dragons of Chinese folklore; symbols of strength, power and good luck. Much like the dragons which took to the streets of London in last week’s procession, this Shaun wears the red and gold colours which are so prominent in Chinese culture and imagery. The two Shauns will take pride of place in London’s Chinatown when the Shauns are released into the wilds of the city.
Chinese culture points to three, four and nine as lucky numbers within the Year of the Sheep, with green, red and purple being the lucky colours. Should you receive carnations, primrose or alice flowers, your luck could be in too, and south, southeast and east are the lucky directions of this Lunar year. With UK2 being based in the heart of east London, we are hoping that our luck could be in!