Spirits in the sky 1

Sydney (5 images)

Goin’ up to the spirit in the sky
That’s where I’m gonna go when I die
When I die and they lay me to rest
Gonna go to the place that’s the best

“Spirit in the Sky” is a song written and originally recorded by Norman Greenbaum and released in 1969.

spirits in the sky 2

“In Between Two Worlds” by artist Jason Wing is a permanent street art installation in a small service lane in the Chinatown district of Sydney. Incorporating wind, water, fire and earth, the artwork references both Chinese and Aboriginal motifs. In Chinese and Aboriginal culture the elements are said to have their own spirits. In the Chinese Zodiac humans are also created with characteristics of the elements.

The half human, half spirit figures in Kimber Lane are said to represent past, present and future ancestors. The themes of heaven and earth, the elements and respect for ancestors past and present are universal. The figures are inspired by Aboriginal and Chinese heritage but do not discriminate against other cultures.

spirits in the sky 4

The art installation consists of wall murals, ground murals and 30 suspended illuminated spirit figures.

spirits in the sky 7

I showed one of the entrances to this lane way in a previous post, someone to watch over me. I still need to try and go back and get some night shots when the figures are illuminated. But as you can see it’s not one of the most glamorous parts of Sydney.

A 36 MP sensor does come in handy at times. I couldn’t get close enough in time to get the shot I wanted of this man, so I took a shot from a distance. The image above is a crop of the original, and following a further crop, I’m closer to what I would have liked to begin with.

Spirits in the sky 9

Photography Etcetera, Sony Etcetera

Spirits in the sky


86 thoughts on “Spirits in the sky

  1. Interesting. Never knew this Chinese Aboriginal art installation existed. I’m sure it’s a pretty sight when everything lights up at night. You’re right, it’s not exactly glamorous but I think the run-down alley works well with the feel of the installation.

    Also interesting to note that this is an outdoor exhibition…seems to withstand the weather very well.

    • Thanks. I agree and like the installation of art in this otherwise ignored back alley. I suspect the local workers just wonder what all the fuss is about. πŸ™‚

  2. I am intrigued by what you show me of Sydney. It seemed quite a sterile place, but obviously not all of it is. Seems almost like San Francisco in these shots. How safe is it to wander in this district during the daytime? Oh, and I like the B&W best – less clutter, though I can see where you’re going with the man holding the bags, a shame about the wheelie bins.

    • Thanks. This is immediately behind the main row of shops in Chinatown, so it’s quite safe apart from the usual safety recommendations about visiting anywhere. Mostly photographers and workers here. The laneway runs behind the restaurants, so the bins are out regularly – I actually like that there’s a bit of real life in and around the art.

  3. After reading your post, I like these artworks even better. I like he used his artwork to present past, present and future ancestors. That is very touching… Thank you, Dragon!

  4. I think sometimes that they don’t mind beauty in amongst garbage, LD: it’s as if they’re used to it and consider it part of the environment.
    I remember that previous post, of course; but these are better because of being more and having all that fascinating background info.

    • Thanks. Art is often sequestered away and untouchable. This is just part of the environment in this lane now and mixed with the reality of life – I like that.

  5. Thank you for another interesting post and as always great images. I looked up the artist – he has some amazing pieces and very strong messages, I particularly liked a fossil fuel lamp made from shells with skulls cut into them πŸ™‚

  6. robert87004 says:

    I’d love these photos of back alleys even without sculptures, but they certainly add another dimension.

  7. What a lovely looking, inspiring and serene street. I could sit on one of those ledges and just relax and enjoy the surroundings. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I remember very well your previous post, and I think that it is one of the first I see on your blog πŸ˜‰
    I like this set and the art of these quarter. The wind on the floor and the walls and “body” on the sky πŸ˜‰ I like the fact that the artist take all the space, 3D art πŸ™‚
    Is there a lot of wind in this street ? πŸ˜‰
    Thanks Draco and take care
    Have a nice week end

    • Thank you Sophie. It is very much a 3 dimensional art setting and an interesting place to stand. The large buildings at each end mostly prevent any significant wind through the lane, or at least did so on the days I was there.

      Have a wonderful weekend too. Hope you’re having some nice weather.

  9. to remain in him says:

    Your photos taken at night are just great – seems there is no difference for you to take at night or daytime…

  10. As I was reading through your post I tried to imagine the figures glowing in the dark. It would be so cool to see some night shots of these. I like the fourth photo best!

  11. Very interesting art – reminds me of Christmas decorations! πŸ™‚ I’m just wondering what those angelic beings are looking at on their stomachs? Looks like a chakra or something like that. πŸ™‚

    • The internally lit aerial figures follow a recurring theme in Wing’s work, representing himself as a child as well as renewal and rebirth. The floating figures contemplate a central orbicular motif which suggest both a body chakra or qi point, and the art of indigenous Australians.
      This duality reflects Wing’s mixed Chinese and Aboriginal parentage, and inspired the work’s title: Between two worlds.

      Google knows everything. You were right. πŸ™‚

  12. This art installation is really nice, and fits so well in this district. Great photos Draco, the trash bins with colorful tops look cool! πŸ™‚

  13. One of my cats is named Sydney… πŸ˜€ You’ve posted some intriguing pictures here and I love the explanations to go with. It’s almost like we are there ourselves. Thank you! πŸ˜€

  14. I’m glad you posted color versions of these shots…they’re all very intriguing and the last one is my fave. And I did appreciate the in-depth explanation you gave in one of your comments. (I already liked the work–now I know why. πŸ™‚ )

  15. this is something like the bird cages installation? fascinating use of urban space… very beautiful too… love the shots, Draco!!

    the song is so cool, haven’t heard it before… listening to it now πŸ™‚ kinda reminded me of Cream and their “Strange Brew”…

    • It’s art but in a very strange place. I’m surprised they did this, but it is interesting.

      Yes, both songs have that psychedelic 60’s groove to them. πŸ™‚

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