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Port Jackson Shark lantern maquette

Date: 2000
820 x 560 x 1910 mm, 5 kg
Medium: Synthetic fabric, paint, wire, metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Maquette
Object No: 00030844
Place Manufactured:Zhonghua

User Terms

    This maquette is a 1:8 scale model of one of the 18 Chinese lanterns that floated along Sydney Harbour during the 1999 Harbour of Light Parade held to celebrate the Millennium. Seven to 15 meters in height, the lanterns were towed on barges and lit by hundreds of bulbs powered by onboard generators.

    The pageant of giant sea creatures was inspired by Sydney's coastal sea life, and based on local theatre designer Peter England's original drawings. The models and full scale lanterns were made by master lantern maker Wu Guang Ju of Ling Nan in China for the City of Sydney Council.
    SignificanceChinese lanterns have held a significant place in Australia's water spectacles since the colonial era, often used in night time water festivities to commemorate special anniversaries and fleet visits. Sydney Harbour was a dramatic backdrop to the Millennium celebrations broadcast to the world, and the lanterns used for The Parade of Sea Creatures symbolised both cultural and environmental elements of the coastal city.
    HistoryLanterns, floats and illuminations have been used for centuries to decorate city streets and waterways during festivals. The 1888 Centenary celebrations used illuminations to decorate buildings in hundreds of street parades around Australia. Spectators hung Chinese lanterns from trees and homes to feel included in the festivities.

    Sydney Harbour's 1999 New Years Eve Lantern Parade was organised by the City of Sydney Council, who contracted a special events company to develop the event. The company commissioned the Ling Nan Craft Factory to build the 18 lanterns as well as the maquettes. The Australian National Maritime Museum later commissioned a further eight maquettes for their collection.

    Fashan in China is famous for its lantern factories, and it was Ling Nan Factory's current manager, Wu Guang Ju's father, who was the first to turn the lanterns into large floats. Traditional lanterns are made of paper and bamboo, though these larger designs are made of fabric that has been sprayed with paint.

    Theatre designer Peter England oversaw the production of the lanterns. His original drawings were based on Sydney's coastal sea life. The 18 floats included blue bottles, magpie morwong, soldier crab, Sydney cray, sea dragons and dolphins.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Port Jackson shark maquette for 1999 New Years Eve celebrations

    Primary title: Port Jackson Shark lantern maquette

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