Haggerston celebrates the Chinese Lunar New Year

A Haggerston dry cleaners is hosting a community event for Chinese Lunar New Year

A Haggerston dry cleaners is hosting a community event for Chinese Lunar New Year, giving locals a chance to decorate their own red packets, known as Lai Sees - Credit: Nicole Tan

An exhibition celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year, the year of the tiger, is coming to Haggerston.

Tiger Year exhibition, a collaborative celebration will run in east London at the end of January until February. 

Hosted in 230 Kingsland Rd, The Steam Room will partner with Nicole Tan, a London-based illustrator and graphic designer, to create the Lai See Canvas window display.

It will use little red envelopes to turn blank canvases into special personalised Lai Sees, also known as red packets, are meant to keep bad spirits away. They signify good fortune and health.

Nicole Tan told the Gazette: “I found that in general red envelopes felt mass produced and generic.

“I wanted to capture some Lai See designs to feel more considered and celebratory.

“This then turned into two concepts, celebrating the year of the tiger with a high quality print, and a red envelope canvas where the community can get involved and personalise their own.”

This year is the year of the tiger in the Chinese zodiac

This year is the year of the tiger in the Chinese zodiac - Credit: Nicole Tan

She added that the Lunar New Year meant “being with family and having an ultimate feast”.

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She said: “I remember when I was little, my whole mega family would go to a Chinese restaurant and have a feast, whilst enjoying the lion dance with the lettuce.

“As I’m older now, I would love to recreate the same traditions and experience them with expanded friends and family in the community.”

Through the window display, Nicole hopes to capture the presence of the community that The Steam Room, a dry cleaning business which doubles as a gallery and event space, has brought together.

She added: “Organising workshops to hold social gatherings as well as get creative and personalise a red envelope together and bringing it back to the community by having all proceedings going to Hackney Chinese Community Services.

“A community board of good luck vibes and wishes for the new year to share with everyone and feel part of creating something great.”

Tony Chung, owner of The Steam Room, said: “The Lunar New Year has always meant reunion with family and loved ones, no matter how busy or how far we are, we would get together to celebrate the beginning of the year and reflect on the past.”

The exhibition will run from January 29 to February 12.