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MELB O U RNE ARTEFACTS In Relation to Public Relations

Elysia Vani Kartawijaya (s3177679) Stephani Putri Fajar (s3252485) Elvina Evania (s3218328)

Assessment #3 - Group Assignment"


Chinatown Archways Chinatown gateways stand in every junction along Little Bourke Street, from Swanston to Spring Street. They clearly declare the entrance to Chinatown and are used as a welcome symbol. The Chinatown itself became a very distinctive and well-known area in Melbourne since the gold rush era. However, both the Chinatown and the archways is not uniquely Melbourne. Yet, according to Collins (2008, p. 20), “…Chinatown in Melbourne is distinctive as the only area of continuous Chinese settlement in Australia.” Chinese people came to Melbourne as the result of gold rush in 1853. Little Bourke Street area was cheap and convenient, thus it soon became a place for Chinese organisations and businesses. Chinese people who came in the post-war periods chose to stay outside Little Bourke Street area. Hence by 1940s many have predicted that the Chinatown would disappear. However in 1969, persuaded by City Councillor David Neng-Hsiang Wang, Melbourne City Council began to redevelop Chinatown area. This article features the initial idea of the construction of Chinatown’s archways. The gateways have a social function to keep the existence of Chinatown as well as to mark the land area (CHIA, 2005). Commissioned by the City of Melbourne, Associate Professor Qinghua Guo along with Hui Chuan Wang and JiaXu, two PhD students of the Melbourne University Faculty of Architecture, Building Planning, did the modification design of the Chinatown gateways in Melbourne. The project is based on a research conservation design, which includes research into historical issues and general typology of gateways, particularly in Melbourne. Considering the purpose of the gateways as urban decoration and cultural symbol, the new design was made to upgrade the value of the gateways and replace the incorrect or add the missing components. The intention is to make changes by respecting history and retaining urban memory (Nikakisz, 2009). According to the reading, the gates have been refurbished several times to fit in time. The concept of the design is still the same, yet it has a modern prospect as a tourist attraction. Collins (2008) states that the emergence of multiculturalism and government interest in tourism caused Chinatown to be reshaped as a tourist precinct. Nowadays, Chinatown is featured in the 'Melbourne Precinct: that's Melbourne City' pamphlet. It is defined as a 'slice of Asia in the heart of the city'. This shows the multiculturalism in Melbourne, which is a very distinctive part of the city. Both Chinatown and the archways are the symbols in communicating this idea to the society.

Assessment #3 - Group Assignment"


Meng (1998) states that all Chinatowns around the world are similar in many aspects. For example, the ambience of Chinatown in New York City resembles Melbourne’s Chinatown. The highlights of Chinatown are Chinese institutions, restaurants, grocery stores, and festivals. Chinatown is always a very crowded place, because it is used not only for residence but also for business and merchants. The architecture of buildings and shops identify Chinese heritage. Thus the archways can be seen as the symbol, which are designed particularly for different Chinatown to distinguish one from another. REFERENCES CHIA 2005, Melbourne's Chinatown - Little Bourke Street area (Victoria) (c. 1854-), [Online] Updated 11 September 2009, Viewed 13 April 2010 <http://www.chia.chinesemuseum.com.au/biogs/ CH00015b.htm> Collins, J 2008, Cultural Landscape of Tourism in New South Wales and Victoria, [Online] Viewed 28 May 2010, Gold Coast: CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd. <http://crctourism.com.au/WMS/Upload/ Resources/bookshop/80094CollinsCultLandsWEB.pdf> Meng, M 1998, Book Reviews: Social Science, [Online] Vol.123 (18), Available at ProQuest, Viewed 13 April 2010 <http://proquest.umi.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/pqdweb? index=1&sid=6&srchmode=1&vinst=PROD&fmt=6&startpage=-1&clientid=16532&vname=PQD&RQ T=309&did=35610712&scaling=FULL&ts=1271645951&vtype=PQD&rqt=309&TS=1271645973&clie ntId=16532> Nikakisz 2009, Guest Column by Qinghua Guo, [Online - The University of Melbourne Website] Updated 2 September 2009, Viewed 13 April 2010 The Premier of Victoria 2009, MELBOURNE’S CHINATOWN RECEIVES A $4.1 MILLION MAKEOVER, [Online] Updated 27 November 2009, Viewed 13 April 2010 <http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/component/ content/article/8887.html>

Melbourne International Comedy Festival The Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) is one of the three largest comedy festivals in the world, alongside Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival. The festival runs annually, featuring the very best Australian and International comedy acts. MICF was first launched in 1987 and has grown to be Australia’s largest ticketed cultural event with attendances around 400,000 each year. MICF attracts not only Melbourne citizens, but also interstate and international guests. Being the host to major international sporting and cultural events, Melbourne is celebrated as “events city” (O’Hanlon, 2009). As the largest ticketed cultural event in Australia, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is a representation of the notion of Melbourne as ‘events city.’ MICF offers vibrant cultural agenda and economic potential, which contribute to urban development in Melbourne.

Assessment #3 - Group Assignment"


MICF plays the role of image-maker in raising Melbourne’s international profile and

attracting visitors. According to Quinn (2005), the growth of festivals in urban areas since the late 1980s represents cities’ attempts to use consumer oriented, cultural forms to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive global marketplace. Furthermore, MICF helps construct a positive image of Melbourne to internal and external public with its connotations of friendliness, merriment, and community.

As a cultural event, MICF can be interpreted as a process through which Melbourne

community express their identity, celebrate values, and strengthen communal bonds. With around 400,000 attendances every year from other states and overseas, MICF certainly generates tourism and economic activities. Yet, the festival committee keeps the average ticket price under AUD 24 and hence accessible to all audience. This way, the substantial tourism and economic activity dimensions do not overshadow the profound social meanings of the festivity.

According to the research conducted by Frew (2006), the success of MICF over the years has

been strongly influenced by media exposure. The media has a powerful impact on public opinion. Melbourne-based newspapers cover MICF extensively with previews and reviews of shows, artists’ profiles, and other articles related to MICF. However, Frew states that the coverage of MICF by non-Victorian newspapers can be considered inadequate.

Turner (1982) claims that, “people in all cultures recognise the need to set aside certain

times and spaces for communal creativity and celebration, and festivals have long constituted a vehicle for expressing the close relationship between identity and place” (as cited in Quinn, 2005). For over 20 years, Melbourne International Comedy Festival has developed a valuable relationship with Melbourne citizens and has embedded into Melbourne’s society and lifestyle. The program represents the dynamics of Melbourne and its citizens to the external public. The success of MICF also represents Melbourne as a host to various cultural events and shows the appreciation to comedy as a form of art.

Every year, for three and a half weeks, Melbourne International Comedy Festival makes

Melbourne a centre of comedy universe. In these three and a half weeks, Melbourne is portrayed as a place of cultural consumptions, which actively enhance and enliven local communities. REFERENCES Frew, E 2006, ‘Festival Image Creation: The Role of the Print Media’, 2006 International Tourism and Media (ITAM) Conference Proceedings, Monash University Tourism Research Unit, Melbourne, pp. 61-69. O’Hanlon, S 2009, ‘The Events City: Sport, Culture, and the Transformation of Inner Melbourne, 1977-2006’, Urban History Review, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 30-39. Quinn, B 2005, ‘Arts Festivals and The City’, Urban Studies Journal, vol. 42, nos. 5/6, pp. 927-943.

Assessment #3 - Group Assignment"


Graffiti in Melbourne Laneways Graffiti is a type of public markings that elaborates a simple form of written words. It has existed for centuries and became an expression of post industrial counter culture which begins in the U.S back in the 1960s. Together with rap and break dancing, graffiti came to form the ‘holy trinity of Hip-Hop.’ During that time, HipHop culture came and influenced Australian communities. This typical of art form has been a part of Melbourne laneways since the 1990s and considered as Heritage of Victoria by The National Trust in 1999. The art of graffiti conveys social and political messages to the public. Nowadays this ‘spray art’ has become a form of vandalism, which is punishable by law.

Nowadays its legalisation has become a public issue. According to the report by Rachael

Brown (2008), The Graffiti Hurts Australia Foundation has declared a statement saying that protecting graffiti in Melbourne laneways means sending a dangerous message that graffiti is acceptable and opens the floodgates to vandalism.

There are a lot of rejections from the community about ‘banning the can’ campaign.

Therefore, some art events were created in Melbourne to encourage the legalisation of this artefact. It is suggested that the government should protect the graffiti rather than spending a huge amount of money each year to remove them. Protecting graffiti means protecting the form of art contributed by the people of Melbourne. As Melbourne can be identified as art and cultural city, graffiti in Melbourne laneways should be preserved and cherished.

Moran (2007) introduces a case study of Green activists invading local’s property in

Melbourne complaining about him as a householder burning green house gases. The property owner blamed Victorian and Federal Government for inciting this act by their climate policy. This case is considered as a destructive behaviour and a negative form of protesting and declaring objections. Compared to this case, graffiti in Melbourne laneways may also be an act of vandalism. However, it delivers complaints and objections through a form of art. Graffiti usually applies along the Melbourne laneways considered as a ‘street art’ because most of them convey the existence of a real street life of homeless and vagrants.

As stated by Nilsen (1980), other than configured as artwork, graffiti in Melbourne laneways

is used as a medium of visual dialogue by artists and deviants. Through graffiti, artists do not rely on face-to-face interactions to present their expression. It is not necessary for an artist to have an in depth knowledge regarding the topic they are trying to communicate. Graffiti as a form of communication is a modern way of protesting and applying disagreements. Thus, graffiti needs

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to be protected as an art and manifestation of public relation. REFERENCES Melbourne Graffiti Considered as a Heritage Protection 2008, accessed 17 April 2010, <http:// www.abc.net.au> Moran, A 2007, Institute of Public Affairs Review, vol.59, no.3, Who Decided that Private Property was Subservient to Political Protest Nilsen, D.L 1980, American Speech: vol.55, No.3, The Grammar of Graffiti, Duke University Press.

Assessment #3 - Group Assignment"


Melbourne Artefacts in Relation to PR