Rob Tennent on Lunar New Year energy and memories - Viaduct Harbour

Rob Tennent on Lunar New Year energy and memories

We asked long-time friend of Viaduct Harbour, creative Rob Tennent to share what the Lunar New Year means to him in his corner of the Asian diaspora.

My experience of the Tét (Chinese New Year) has always been very much about family. In Vietnam, you typically stay in the home during this period and there’s a lot of focus on energy. My grandma was very strict about staying home and only being with family. It’s a time when I get to see all of my cousins and extended family. There would always be so much food, and everyone would pass out by 3pm either from drinking or just having their afternoon naps. I remember all of the kids standing in a line singing before receiving their lì xì (red envelope). As I grow up, the roles have reversed and I am now the one giving the lì xì. I have not been able to go back to Vietnam since 2019. I hope to be able to celebrate with everyone soon.

Rob Tennent cast, directed and photographed ‘Make A Date at Viaduct Harbour’ in 2020. He recently published his own photography book ‘I’m Going To Miss You’; a visual tribute to the intimacy of brotherhood during summertime in New Zealand. Available here.