Sussex and Dixon Street light screens

Related to City Art
Installed 1997
A red and yellow light sculpture hanging from two building over a laneway

Based on the I-Ching, or Book of Changes, this enigmatic lighting artwork reflected the importance of connection and change in Chinese philosophy.

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. Sussex and Dixon Street I-Ching light screens, Heaven, Earth and the Little Hay Street wall lanterns were all laid out and colour-coded using Choy’s feng shui diagrams.

Installed in 1997, the Sussex and Dixon Street I-Ching light screens were panels of polycarbonate light strips suspended across Sussex Street and Dixon Street.

Based on the 64 hexagrams of the I-Ching, or Book of Changes, the world’s oldest book of divination, the artwork represented this influential text and its important place in Chinese culture and philosophy. Underlying the  I-Ching is the belief, or fact, that everything is connected and that change is an intrinsic part of the cosmos, without beginning or end.

“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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