Chinese New Year Edition!
As the Lunar New Year approaches, Takutai Square has a temporary new look from today, with the installation of New Zealand Chinese artist James K Lowe’s The Noble Ones lightbox works until Sunday 17 February (one of James’s beautiful images is shown above). Glowing in a crescent that emulates the path of the new moon through the sky on February 5, the beginning of Lunar New Year, the 16 images are a tribute to the Asian tradition of placing fresh blossoms in the home to celebrate the changing year. Click through to read more of the story behind these beautifully-lit works (clue: the lighting is part of the story). Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái! 恭禧发财
Whenever you buy something at Britomart over the next week, you might find one of our complimentary red-and-gold hóng bāo tucked into your retail bag. You can pick up extra envelopes (featuring a plump, smiling pig and a circlet of blossoms, designed by New Zealand Chinese artist Pippa Fay) from stores and eateries around the precinct. Scroll down to learn about our special Britomart Red Card that you can pop inside.
Jo Malone London is also giving away their own red envelopes in-store at Britomart, as well as offering beautiful red caps to fit on any 100ml fragrance (for $10 plus the fragrance price). And while you’re in store, you could get ahead of Valentine’s Day by ordering a limited-edition gift box containing a 100ml fragrance of your choice, nestled in a cloud of gorgeous fresh flowers for the price of just the fragrance (from $236).
Tomorrow, on February 1, the annual Pride Festival kicks off. As part of the celebrations, we commissioned multi-disclipinary artist Jermaine Dean (above) to create 11 striking artworks as part of our ongoing Customs Street poster project, Works on Paper. Jermaine is a founding member of the artistic collectives FAFSWAG, Sa’VA’ge K’lub, Coven and The Order; he’s also a photographer, teacher, performer, sound artist and musician. For his Works on Paper series, he photographed his friends and fellow performers. “My images are like a gift to them,” he says, as well as being “about visibility and agency and being proud of our queer brown bodies. It’s about community and the uplifting quality of true friendships.” Look out for the works to go up this week.
Also coinciding with the start of Pride, Levi’s (the first Fortune 500 company to offer same-sex partner benefits to employees) launches its Pride Collection tomorrow at World Britomart. The Pride rainbow has been interpreted in a range of tees, cut-offs and trucker jackets, with the aim of celebrating the support and community of ‘found families’ – the people who love and support you just the way you are, regardless of whether they’re blood relatives or not.
We’re more than six months into construction on The Hotel Britomart. When it opens, in mid-2020, it’s expected to be New Zealand’s first 5-Green Star hotel, with sustainable principles at its core. We talked to the hotel’s development director, Campbell Williamson (that’s him in the hi-vis above), about what will make The Hotel Britomart a sustainable retreat in the heart of the city, and what it will bring to the neighbourhood. Read all about it here.
We’ve got our rose-tinted glasses firmly on for the next Street Kai on Takutai, which takes place on – you guessed it – Valentine’s Day! And don’t worry – we know Valentine’s Day can be annoying, so this Street Kai event is less about enforced romance and more about something much more simple: the love of food. And with Sabores, Guerrilla Grill, Akemi’s Gyoza, Olas, Brûlée Bike, Double Dutch Fries, Grub, Miann and Grownup Donuts in the mix, there’s a lot of food to love! They’ll be serving from 11am-9pm, and there’s a bar too. Thanks to ChippyDraws for the illustration.
Most schools are starting back this week or next. (*Parents everywhere breathe a sigh of relief*.) If your kid is begging you to supplement their standard school stationery with something a little more stylish, kikki.K is where you’ll find cute accessories in their Study With A Smile range, all sure to put a grin on your child’s face. After all, the start of the school year shouldn’t be a time that only parents look forward to.
Two of the legendary Harlem Globetrotters basketballers – WNBA star Ice and the incredibly springy Dragon (he has a 45-inch vertical leap, pictured!) will be in Takutai Square on Thursday 7 Feb, shooting hoops with members of The Breakers development squad – and you, if you’re keen. Be in the Square at 1pm to see them posting up, dribbling, slam-dunking, and playing tw0-on-two with some famous local faces.