The 20th Sydney Chinese New Year Festival is more than delicious food, Lion Dancers and dragon boat races. We’ve picked out just a few of the fascinating art events around town, which are part of the festivities.

1. The great chronicler of stories and images, William Yang
For over three decades, William Yang has captured Sydney society. As an Australian Chinese gay man, he has documented the rise of the gay community in our city, creating introspective, beautiful work that deals with cultural and sexual identity. A Still Gallery exhibition William Yang: Stories of Love and Death coincides with the launch of a book of the same name.

When: 20 – 21 February, 11am-6pm
Where: Stills Gallery, 36 Gosbell Street, Paddington
How much: Free

2. One Hundred Surnames in Tofu
One Hundred Surnames in Tofu is the first Australian exhibition of Chinese artist Chen Qiulin. Chen Quilin’s work is interested in the contradictions inherent in China’s push for political and economic change and the role that memory and place play in this process. The exhibition is accompanied by a kids’ workshop at the Chinese Garden of Friendship.

When: 16 – 27 February, 11am-6pm
Where: 4a Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 181-187 Hay Street, Haymarket
How much: Free

3. Chinese-Australian history in 88 objects
The non-profit Chinese Women’s Association of Australia Inc has met in the city monthly for 61 years to nurture good relationships between Chinese and Australian women. This talk will animate Chinese Australian history with special, carefully selected objects.

When: 13 February, 1-3.30pm
Where: Mitchell Theatre, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
How much: $10 or $8 for members

4. ARK by Karen Choy
The festival’s Chinese-born curator presents her unique ceramic sculptures of animals, which reference her ethnic heritage with traditional Chinese glazes, as well as imagery of Australian flora and fauna.

When: 23 January – 17 February, 11am-6pm
Where: Robin Gibson Gallery, 278 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst
How much: Free

5. Mahjong playlunch
Ever felt left out by the seeming perplexity of this involving game? Earn your stripes, dim sim in chopsticks, at Mahjong Room’s Saturday playlunch.

When: 6 – 27 February, 2-5pm
Where: Mahjong Room, 312 Crown Street, Darlinghurst
How much: $39

And if you’re just up for a stroll around the city, let the Lunar Lanterns guide your way. Curated by Claudia Chan Shaw and featuring the work of contemporary artists, 12 lanterns will form a path across our city. Find your zodiac lantern on a trail across the Harbour, CBD and Haymarket/Chinatown.

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