NSW Premier and Kogarah MP Chris Minns announced the winners of the Kogarah Lunar New Year Card Competition, at the award ceremony at the NSW Parliament House on January 24.
The competition, now in its fifth year, invites young people, ranging from Kindergarten to Year 12, from the Kogarah Electorate, to showcase their artistic talent by creating an artwork which celebrates the upcoming Lunar New Year of the Dragon.
The competition also promotes the importance of art and language education in the Kogarah electorate. The winning artworks are sent out to the St George community, bringing the festivity and excitement of the New Year with them.
The Year of the Dragon represents wisdom, prosperity, health and good fortune.
This year, around 700 primary and high school students from local, language and art schools submitted their artworks for the competition.
All submitted artwork was thoroughly reviewed and judged with 20 finalists nominated from both the junior and senior category, and ultimately two winners selected from each of them.
The difficult decisions were made by a judging panel consisting of Premier and Kogarah MP Chris Minns; President of the St George Art Society Jim West; St George artist Sarah Kalidis; and Curator of Chinese Art at the Art Gallery Yin Cao.
The winners and finalists were presented with their certificates and framed artworks at the award ceremony, held at the NSW Parliament House.
The award ceremony was hosted in both English and Mandarin, with Clare Liu and Jayden Li, students from Victory Mandarin School in Blakehurst, as co-hosts.
The winner of the junior category, Kindergarten to Year 6, was Jaydan Zheng, 8 years old, from Inkwell Art Studio in Hurstville.
"The use of a radiant red colour throughout the artwork really highlights the most popular colour to symbolise prosperity. The motif of a smiling dragon, a revered creature of mythical status, occupies the centre of the design and is curled up in a circle, evoking a sense of togetherness and clarity, without sharp corners," Yin Cao said.
The winner of the senior category, Year 7 to 12, was Hannah Xin, 14 years old, from Creative Arts Education Academy in Hurstville.
"The dragon in this work is a real showpiece, the movement of the tail and the gaze of the dragon shows a strong powerful creature," Sarah Kalidis said.
"The strong use of red symbolising prosperity and good fortune, with the rising red sun symbolising hope, the blue is used to express good luck through the running water from the mountains. This connection of earth and growth links the year of the dragon to a year of change, progress and opportunities," she said.
Mr Minns said there had been an exciting increase in participants in the competition, from last year's 400 to nearly 700 this year.
"This just shows how far the competition has come, with not many people entering at first, now becoming one of the most significant events for the St George community," Mr Minns said.
"As Premier and the Member for Kogarah, it is really magnificent to see the competition's growing popularity, but also how it brings together multiculturalism with the arts and languages in our wonderful community."
"I want to congratulate and thank all the students who have participated in the competition this year, and I wish everyone a happy Lunar New Year of the Dragon," he said.