A green circular light sculpture hanging from two building over a laneway
A blue circular light sculpture hanging from two building over a laneway
A green circular light sculpture hanging from two buildings

Heaven and Earth were the focus of a series of lighting artworks that enlivened Dixon Street in Chinatown for more than two decades.

Artist:  Peter McGregor
This artwork is no longer at this location.

Artwork description

Working with Hassell urban designer and architect Ken Maher, and architect and feng shui specialist Howard Choy, architect/artist Peter McGregor drew on Chinese architecture, mythology and philosophy to create these artworks. Heaven, Earth, the Sussex and Dixon Street I-Ching light screens and the Little Hay Street wall lanterns were all laid out and colour-coded using Choy’s feng shui diagrams.

Installed in 1997, Heaven was a disc with fibre optic strands laced through a metal frame suspended at the intersection of Dixon and Little Hay streets in Haymarket.

Earth, the counterpart to Heaven, was installed in the road surface at the intersection, mirroring Heaven. Earth was made of patterned cast iron tiles, sandblasted pavers and inground LED lights. These materials symbolically reflected and balanced the loftiness and light of Heaven.

Lit from 6pm to midnight each night, Heaven’s larger fibre light strands changed colour each hour, while the smaller fibre strands changed every 10 minutes. They morphed from purple to blue, green, yellow, orange and red while the Sussex and Dixon Street I-Ching light screens gradually changed from orange to red.

At the stroke of midnight, the 2 artworks synchronised and glowed bright red.

“Drawing on Chinese architecture, mythology and philosophy, the work is colour coded based on feng shui diagrams, which place the work at the symbolic centre of Chinatown.”

– Peter McGregor, 2017


Peter McGregor has studied both art and architecture and continues to practice the fine line and at times large void between both, in a range of projects. These include new parks and squares, street and lane upgrades, small public buildings, as well as apartment buildings and houses.

Restoration and deaccession

The brightly lit dome and series of suspended light panels were taken down in sections in 2008 and 2013 due to new building construction. Earth was reconstructed in 2012. The reinstallation of the 2 artworks on Dixon Street in 2017 followed the restoration of the 14 lantern-shaped light boxes attached to buildings along Little Hay Street.

Artist Peter McGregor was involved in the restoration projects.

In 2024, 27 years after their original installation, Heaven, Earth and the Sussex and Dixon Street I-Ching light screens were deaccessioned as the elements used in them had reached the end of their life. The artist was consulted as part of the process.

The Little Hay Street wall lanterns have been retained and complement a new body of lighting works in the precinct.

Chinatown public art strategy

A new series of public art projects began in 2010 to revitalise and extend Chinatown’s public spaces.

The program is based on extensive community consultation and development by curatorial advisor Aaron Seeto as part of the Chinatown public domain plan.

The approach recognises the existing artworks commissioned in 1999 and the character of this vibrant urban area.

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