Chinatown stories in art

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Artist Nic Cannon will be creating the Shopkeepers' Installation in the heart of Chinatown.
Camera IconArtist Nic Cannon will be creating the Shopkeepers' Installation in the heart of Chinatown. Credit: Carly Laden

One of Broome’s most popular precincts will be transformed into a haven of culture and history in a new phase of the Chinatown Revitalisation Project.

After a competitive selection process with a total of 23 submissions received, the official artists have been selected to createtwo major sculptures to be installed in Chinatown.

Nationally recognised artists Nicole and Alex Mickle and Nic Compton will be creating the sculptures to bring the culture and history of Chinatown to life, as well as expanding Broome’s public art collection.

Nicole and Alex Mickle, of Safehaven Studio, will be creating a large sculpture as the Chinatown entry statement, which will be located near the corner of Carnarvon Street and Napier Terrace.

Further down Carnarvon Street, in the middle of the retail precinct, will be The Shopkeepers, an installation designed by WA artist Compton.

The sculpture will creatively represent and celebrate a unique selection of shops and their shopkeepers.

The artists visited Broome last month to plan and meet with a broad cross-section of the community to gain further insights into Chinatown and its unique culture.

Broome Shire president Harold Tracey said the sculptures would contribute tremendously to telling Chinatown’s stories, educating people on the town’s history and culture.

“The Chinatown Revitalisation Project is about planning for our future while celebrating our past,” he said.

“The involvement of so many, and from such a diverse range of cultures, speaks volumes.”

“Chinatown really is the multicultural heart and soul of Broome.”

A number of other artworks planned for Chinatown are also in progress by local artists and cultural groups, including an interpretive bronze sculpture depicting the traditional connection to the pearl shell, and visual imprints integrated into landscaping items.

The artworks are set to be revealed on the completion of Carnarvon Street and Dampier Terrace upgrades in June.

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