ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Tea Leaves

Golden heads and fake hotels -- a salve in pandemic times

Melbourne's eclectic public art encourages political expression in lengthy lockdowns

When a gold-painted head appeared early in 2020, perched on a concrete plinth in a Melbourne park, no one quite knew what to make of it. (Screenshot from Bundoora Homestead Art Centre's Vimeo)

When a gold-painted head appeared early in 2020, perched on a concrete plinth in a Melbourne park, no one quite knew what to make of it. With no accompanying plaque, the covertly installed artwork invited intrigue. How did it get there, who did it depict and who was behind it? The case of the golden head had many enthralled, including me.

Curious parkgoers snapped photographs and puzzled over its solemn expression. Community groups swapped theories online and petitioned local authorities not to tear it down. Someone made T-shirts in tribute. During its short existence, the rogue statue was vandalized, removed, briefly resurrected, spawned several iterations, and finally auctioned for charity in August. Its creator remains a mystery, like almost everything else about it.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more