Inner West Council – Lunar New Year 2024

In February this year I had the incredible opportunity to be part of the Inner West Council’s Lunar New Year celebrations, alongside fellow artists @steffieyee and @puppy_sprout, and Clipped Co. We were invited to create short animations that were projected onto Ashfield Town Hall, celebrating the rich diversity of our cultures and our unique Lunar New Year memories and experiences.

In Vietnamese culture we celebrate the lunar new year, known as Tết. As a first generation child of Vietnamese parents I’ve always found the celebration and sharing of food to be the best way to connect with my culture.

In my animation I’ve shown a dragon eating many different Lunar New Year foods, in a play on the classic phone game Snake. These include the fruits that adorn my family altar, Mứt tết – a platter of candied fruits and nuts, and most importantly Bánh chưng and Bánh tét – sticky rice cakes filled with mung beans and pork and wrapped in banana leaf, symbolising the earth and the sky. Every year my dad and I wrap piles of Bánh chưng by hand – a cherished part of our new year tradition. 

My animation is called “Ăn Tết” which is a phrase in Vietnamese that describes the act of celebrating the lunar new year, but literally means to “eat Tết” – which just goes to show how central the role of food is to the celebration of the new year.