The Big Hoot owls are revealed

03 March 2018 / Published in Your Community

Super-sized owl sculptures will be descending on Auckland for the Haier Big Hoot art trail, from Saturday 3 March 2018 until Sunday 6 May 2018.

Over 100 owls will roost in parks, public spaces, malls and libraries, turning Auckland into a virtual aviary. It will also be your first chance to see the ASB People's Choice owl The Guardian, which was designed by Taren Ouk. 

There are 47 giant owls (1.65m) that have been individually designed by artists and 60 owlets (90cm) that have been designed by Auckland school students.

The 47 giant owls, each a bespoke work of art, will be auctioned off to fundraise for Child Cancer Foundation on Tuesday 29 May in Auckland. Child Cancer Foundation provides practical, emotional and financial support to Kiwi kids with cancer and their families.

During the Big Hoot trail campaign there is also an event app that you can download. The app will add to the experience of viewing the owls around Auckland. When you visit the ASB owl and input the unique code into the app you’ll go in to the draw to win one of two Enhanced Backstage Experiences with the ASB season of Filthy Business. Each prize consists of:

- 2x Premium seats to the Gala Evening of the ASB season of Filthy Business at the ASB Waterfront Theatre.

- Guided backstage tour

Our ASB owl design was selected through a People’s Choice competition run on Facebook in August last year. Our winner was Taren Ouk, who created the ‘The Guardian’.  You’ll be able to see the ASB owl at Wynyard Crossing in Wynyard Quarter.

The Guardian Owl

In her own words, Taren talks us through the inspiration of her design. “For my owl design, I wanted to embrace my artistic style, which channels the delicate and intricate nature of patterns, using their natural language to converse with audiences. As this project, ‘The Big Hoot’ is in honour of the Child Cancer Foundation, I wanted to design a creation illustrating the concept of comfort for children and the families who walk alongside them on this journey. Drawing from my homeland of Cambodia, and with respect to the symbolism of a mandala, I delved into my cultural roots to manifest a visual representation of inner strength and protection – hence ‘The Guardian’ was created.“

About our Artist

Taren Ouk is a freelance artist of Cambodian descent living in Auckland, New Zealand. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts, graduating from the University of Auckland in 2005. Formally trained in graphic design, she enjoys expression through various mediums such as painting, photography and mixed media. Taren’s creative style is heavily influenced by the aesthetics and intricacy of traditional patterning from her cultural heritage, known as Kbach Khmer. Her artwork also draws from the diversity and multiculturalism embraced in her New Zealand community, representing the interconnection of our world.


Important dates

Sunday 03 March – Sunday 06 May: The Haier Big Hoot public art trail

Tuesday 29 May: Auction of 47 giant owls in support of Child Cancer Foundation


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