Luke Nguyen and his winning sculpture ‘One Thousand Crane Wishes’.
OUT of 42 sculptures entered in the ninth 'Hidden' exhibition at Rookwood Cemetery, Newtown artist Luke Nguyen has won first place with his artwork One Thousand Crane Wishes.
A multi-disciplinary artwork, One Thousand Crane Wishes is based on the Japanese legend of Zenbazuru, whereby a person who makes 1,000 Origami paper cranes will be granted a wish by the gods.
One Thousand Crane Wishes is created from twigs found locally, bound together by red threads and spiralling outwards like a flock of birds taking flight.
"My family helped me collect the twigs for the sculpture, and the binding of the sticks is representative of the family connection with the artwork," Luke said.
"I used to commute on my bicycle from Liverpool to Leichhardt through Rookwood Cemetery. I always felt a sense of contemplation in its vastness and it was the best part of the journey.
"When I heard about the exhibition, I really wanted to be a part of it. 'Hidden' is a great way of using the space and encouraging the general public to interact with the cemetery."
According to judge Sarah Gurich, One Thousand Crane Wishes is a beautifully realised mediation on life and the importance of connection to family, nature and culture.
"The simplicity of form and materials underpins a sophisticated conceptual framework, and we look forward to seeing how Luke's practice progresses," she said.
Established in 2009 to showcase meaningful artworks, along with Rookwood's impressive architecture and culturally specific gardens, this year's exhibition coincides with Rookwood's 150th anniversary and comes to a close on September 24.
The walk is free and the sculptures have been strategically hidden throughout one of the oldest sections of the sleeping city, including the iconic Elephant House.