A 6x9m sculpture of a Piglet, which has been created by UK artist Alex Rinsler, and commissioned by Manchester BID (Manchester’s Business Improvement District) has been unveiled in the city to mark the Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated this coming weekend.
In the spirit of giving associated with Chinese New Year, visitors will be invited to contribute to donation boxes around the sculpture. Proceeds will go to homelessness fund Big Change MCR and the Wai Yin Society, which provides advice, guidance and family support, education, training and employment, and health and social care services for Chinese men and women, and for other ethnic minority groups.
Artist Alex Rinsler creates large scale temporary sculptural projects worldwide and works at the intersection of public art and urbanism. His giant animals which include foxes in Shanghai and London and the world’s largest squirrel in Almaty, Kazakhstan, bring a sense of wildness back into the city for everyone to enjoy.
Alex said: “In Chinese culture, pigs represent wealth and treasure and are believed to be philanthropic and generous, social and friendly, with a love for life. We were really keen for Piglet to represent all of those things in a playful way, while raising funds for two brilliant local causes.”
Circle Steele, CEO of the Wai Yin Society, said: “It’s very exciting for us to have this partnership with Manchester BID and an internationally renowned artist. This demonstrates effective social inclusion in our diverse and wonderfully vibrant city.”
The Team at Big Change Manchester said: “Chinese New Year is a time for great celebration and in Manchester festivities will be in full swing across the city. We are grateful that during the celebrations people will have the opportunity to contribute to the donation boxes which will be placed around the sculpture in St Ann’s Square and we are sure they will give generously to the Big Change knowing that their money will benefit people who are going through hard times. We can assure them that all the donations that we get make a real and lasting impact on people’s lives.”
Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations are some of the biggest in Europe. Taking place from 7 – 10 February, visitors can enjoy four days filled with fun, food, fireworks and good fortune.Not to be missed is Manchester’s legendary Dragon Parade on Sunday 10th. Starting at 12pm the dazzling 175-foot dragon will weave its way from Albert Square through the city’s streets toManchester’s Chinatown where revellers can enjoy lion dancing, unicorn performances, Chinese dancers, traditional street food stalls and a spectacular fireworks finale at 6pm.
Other highlights include Chinese arts & crafts, traditional food and drink stalls and a funfair in Albert Square (Friday to Sunday), a Chinese Food Market in St Ann’s Square, a 50ft Golden Dragon in Exchange Square alongside traditional craft workshops and tai chi workshops at a variety of venues across the city including Manchester Arndale, Manchester Art Gallery and the CFCCA, plus VIP shopping events at city centre stores.
For full listings information and times visit visitmanchester.com/chinesenewyear.
Photo Credit Anthony Devlin/PA