The Lion Dance, also known as The Chinese Dragon Dance, is performed during Chinese New Year and other traditional, Chinese cultural and religious festivals. The lions’ costumes are composed of beautiful and colourful textiles. The lion's head (mask) is usually oversized and dragon-like, followed by a long, silky, vibrant textile that extends to create the lion's body. The dance is thought to bring good luck and is an integral part of many important occasions such as weddings and business openings. The very presence of the dragons is meant to welcome guests and visitors to the space.
Born in the year of the Dragon herself, Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist Paddy Leung’s installation is a handmade interpretation of this Chinese celebratory tradition. Western pop culture influences are integrated both aesthetically through the highly graphic and illustrative style of the masks, and also through the methods and materials; Leung incorporates her go-to papier-mâché techniques and use of playful embellishments such as feathers and rhinestones that have become signature features of her work. With their inclusion in this year's City of Craft, the artist hopes the dragons will bring good luck and magic to all that see them.
Dancing With Dragons is on view from December to March 2017.