The “Theory of Junk” explores why something that was once new loses value, becomes redundant and then gains value again. In 2005, the Sydney suburb of Cronulla came to symbolise many communities in Australia that are experiencing change, sometimes creating anger, fear and retribution as one culture is seen as less valuable by another. Produced by renowned Tasmanian arts company Big hART and created with the Cronulla community, Junk Theory is an evocative floating multimedia representation of an iconic Australian beachside suburb in all its ugly beauty.

At sunset on Sydney Harbour, the Port Hacking, Derwent, Huon and Tamar Rivers and the River Torrens, a beautiful traditional Chinese Junk drifted by with sails set and filled with moving image. Junk Theory, with its films, photographs, maps, portraits and text, woven together by the haunting voice of singer Wei Zen Ho, has delighted and mesmerized over 60,000 people during seasons in the 2007 Sydney Festival, the 2008 Adelaide Bank Festival of the Arts and the 2009 Ten Days on the Island Festival.

Like many of us the junk – Suzy Wong – came to Australia from overseas. Built in 1959, she arrived here in the early sixties and has survived and adapted to her new environment to become a permanent part of our maritime history.

Creator-Scott Rankin.
Creative Producer-Michelle Kotevski.