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A year in review of Creative New Zealand’s focus on Asia

2 Feb 2016

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Curators at Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, Japan. Image credit: Lara Strongman.
Curators at Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, Japan. Image credit: Lara Strongman.

It’s been an action-packed first year for our Focus on Asia initiative, with numerous international collaborations and exchanges, five festival invitations, two performing arts markets, three artist residencies, and much more. We’re pleased to share some of the highlights from 2015, along with upcoming opportunities for 2016.

Asia/NZ Co-commissioning Fund

Our Asia/NZ Co-commissioning fund supports the creation of new work that is presented in New Zealand and at least one of our six target territories in Asia. So far we’ve supported new works in theatre, music and the visual arts, with national presentations scheduled for Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin and international presentations in Shanghai, Beijing, Pingyao, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

The fund will be offered again in 2016 – the opportunity reopens in mid-February.

Asia Performing Arts Market Travel Fund

Support was provided for performing arts producers to attend the Performing Arts Market Seoul (PAMS) in Korea and the China Shanghai Performing Arts Fair. Attendance at PAMS resulted in invitations to Atamira Dance Company to perform at the Beijing Dance Festival in China and the Chang Mu Dance Festival in Korea. New Zealand companies are also in discussion with festival directors and progammers in Asia about potential presentation and collaboration opportunities.

The fund will be offered again in 2016 – the opportunity reopens in early May.

Curators Tour to Asia

In partnership with the Asia New Zealand Foundation we supported curators Abby Cunnane, Emma Ng and Lara Strongman to tour Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Tokyo and Echigo-Tsumari. The trip was designed to build the curators professional networks and explore possible collaborations and artist exchanges.

In 2016 the tour will be to Korea and China. Applications are now open and forms can be downloaded from the Asia New Zealand Foundation website.

Te Manu Ka Tau international visitors programme

In 2015 we invited guests from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea to visit Aotearoa and view local work. As a result of these visits, New Zealand works have been programmed into the Hong Kong Arts Festival (Ross McCormack’s The Weight of Force and Thomas Monckton’s The Pianist), and invitations have been extended to Black Grace by the Taipei Arts Festival, and Little Dog Barking by the International Theater Festival Okinawa for Young Audiences. Discussions are also underway for possible presentations in China and Korea.

The programme will run again in 2016.

Asia Artform Exchange Fund

Seed funding was provided to artists and practitioners across artforms to research ideas and collaborations with potential partners in Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan. The recipients (by art form) were:

  • Craft/Object – Deb Donnelly (China)
  • Dance – Cathy Livermore (Japan), Good Company Arts (Japan)
  • Music – Nick Dwyer (Japan)
  • Theatre – Auckland Theatre Company (Japan), Indian Ink (Taiwan), Little Dog Barking (Korea)
  • Visual Arts – Alana Lopesi & Ahilapalapa Rands (China).

KAMS Connection Fund

Working in partnership with the Korean Arts Management Service (KAMS), we are supporting exchange and collaboration between presenters and venues in New Zealand and Korea with the expectation that it will lead to the development of a collaborative work between artists from both countries.

In 2015 we supported three New Zealand presenters/venues to travel to Korea:

  • Audio Foundation
  • New Zealand Festival
  • Q Theatre

In late February 2016 we will host five presenters from Korea to explore opportunities with New Zealand partners:

  • Jarasum International Jazz Festival
  • Hi Seoul Festival
  • ASSITEJ Korea
  • Jeonju International Sori Fest
  • the Chuncheon International Mime Festival

Artist Residencies

Working in partnership with the Asia New Zealand Foundation we supported three artists to take up residencies in Asia last year:

Three more artists will take up residencies in these spaces in 2016: Lana Lopesi, Yona Lee and Deanna Dowling. We are also offering a new dance residency with Singaporean company, The Human Expression (T.H.E) and Sarah Foster-Sproull will be our first artist to take up this opportunity in August.  

Asia Producers’ Platform Camp fund (APPCamp)

This fund was launched in August 2015 to support one New Zealand performing arts producer to attend the annual Asian Producers’ Platform Camp held in the Asia-Pacific from 2015-2017 (i.e. Taiwan in 2015, Japan in 2016 and Australia in 2017). Dolina Wehipeihana from the Auckland Arts Festival was the successful recipient and will attend the seven-day camp each year to develop her practice, build professional networks and explore opportunities to collaborate. The camp is an initiative to create a network of independent producers who can work effectively across the Asia region. 

Upcoming opportunities for 2016

Watch this space.

Wishing everyone a prosperous Chinese New Year of the Monkey!


Image caption: Curators at Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, Japan. Photo credit: Lara Strongman.