Leeroy New creates fantastical, large-scale installations that refer to otherworldly creatures and alien structures. Calling attention to social issues through his art, New prefers to present his work in public space, away from the spatial limitations and Eurocentric history of art galleries. For rīvus, the artist has created a site-specific sculpture that wraps around the outside of the A.C.E building. The complex form of the piece is inspired by the organic root structure of the Balete tree of Southeast Asia.

The work is made from recycled materials which are transformed through New’s artmaking process. The artist is inspired by those living in poverty in the Philippines, whose ingenuity and resourcefulness in turning leftover materials into decorative objects is a part of the Filipino sensibility and culture.

Fantasy plays a large part in determining the form of New’s constructions as a means of exploring the possibility of Indigenous Filipino identities. These stories and cultural practices have been buried under years of Spanish Colonialism and American Nationalism.


  • Title: Balete
  • Creator: Leeroy New
  • Date Created: 2022
  • Location: Arts and Cultural Exchange, Parramatta, Australia
  • Provenance: Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from the Australia-ASEAN Council and assistance from Mirvac and Parramatta Artists’ Studios. Courtesy the artist.
  • Type: Installation
  • Rights: Biennale of Sydney
  • Medium: bamboo, water containers, PET bottles, twine, bicycle wheel frames, ribbons, other found objects
  • Edition: 23rd Biennale of Sydney (2022): rīvus

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