2020  •  Esplanade

Huayi Chinese Festival of Arts

    Art direction, Illustration, Key visual

Huayi Chinese Festival of Arts is an annual festival held during Chinese New Year at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore’s national performing arts centre. The works curated range across a wide spectrum, from the traditional to the contemporary, the mainstream to the cutting-edge.

Interpreting the theme – arts is of sustenance; arts can nourish your soul – we chose to bring in aspects of our collective experience of the pandemic, endeavouring to deliver the programmes to the audience at home or have them da bao (take away) it. The key visual is rich in symbolism and cultural significance, in particular all things related to the Year of the Metal Ox.

We present a nuanced visual message beyond typical Chinese New Year visuals, inviting viewers to delve further into the hidden meanings.


Elements include:


  • An Ox playing metal music
  • Mountains arranged like a trading chart pattern signifying a bull run
  • Tiffin boxes as theatre lights
  • A digital guzheng (string instrument) emitting sound waves
  • Disposable bamboo chopsticks
  • A reference to the ancient practice of storing items in sleeves
  • A Chinese lantern resembling a globe
  • Carp-shaped earbuds
  • Vertical text bubbles and emojis
  • A lion dance face mask
  • Fireworks made of rice

We designed the key visual to be adaptable to portrait, landscape and other formats, with elements that could be taken apart and used separately. The artwork was subsequently adapted in-house across on-site collateral, print and digital media.

Photos courtesy of Choo Yut Shing @ Flickr