Location: Chinatown pagoda, next to the archway
Designer: Al Lowe, Paid Leader of Sanctus 1 - www.sanctus1.co.uk
Location Notes: Chinatown is a cultural enclave within the city centre of Manchester. It speaks of Chinese culture in terms of food and restaurants, supermarkets and shops, signage and art. It is the second largest in the UK and welcomes visitors with its huge gate way and pagoda. It was formed out of the wave of immigration in the early 20th century with the first restaurant being opened in 1948. A steady increase in restaurants over the years has led to a cultural experience within a cultural experience.
Shrine Notes: Although this location represents a particular culture within Manchester, it also celebrates the cultural diversity of the wider city. This shrine celebrates that cultural diversity by contrasting two music instruments; a modern electric guitar and a traditional Ruan - an ancient Chinese stringed instrument which has been around for over 4,000 years. Stop, think and celebrate the cultural diversity of the city centre and pray for peace between people of different cultures, giving thanks for the wider understanding it brings.
Designer Notes: I was particularly struck by the Psalm 137 v 4 and how it feels to be in a foreign land/culture and perhaps Mary and Joseph’s experience in Egypt. It made me reflect on the cultural expressions we bring with us when we move that help us to assimilate into different places. Music is a very strong communicator of culture and therefore I chose the two instruments to reflect this cultural mix.
Feel free to write about your thoughts and experiences with this shrine, or how you've seen people using it, as a comment (see below) or tweet @sanctus1mcr.