9 Feb 2015
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From bold colours in Bangalore to deep snow in Sapporo – a new exhibition in Porirua conveys the fresh perspectives experienced by New Zealand artists visiting Asia.
Opening at Pataka Art + Museum on Sunday 22 February and running till 17 May, Imagine Asia: New Zealand artists respond to contemporary Asia features diverse works produced by 18 New Zealand artists who have participated in Asia New Zealand Foundation’s residency programmes.
The Foundation has run a programme of artist in residence opportunities in Asia since 2007, exposing New Zealand artists to new ideas and experimental art forms in some of Asia’s most vibrant cities.
The exhibition captures the work of artists on residencies in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.
Imagine Asia: New Zealand artists respond to contemporary Asia is technically diverse and richly colourful; conveying a sense of the excitement, wonder and confusion recipient artists experienced during their residencies, many of whom were visiting Asia for the first time,” says Pataka director Helen Kedgley.
Asia New Zealand Foundation director, culture Jennifer King says the residencies have given New Zealand artists, including those of Asian descent, the opportunity to explore their cultural identity and develop their intercultural engagement.
“New Zealand has traditionally looked towards Europe and North America for our artistic references. It’s been quite a big leap for New Zealand artists to orientate themselves towards Asia.
“The residencies take artists out of their comfort zone and bring fresh perspectives to their work. They are immersed in a new culture and develop their own reactions and responses to it – and bring those responses back to New Zealand to encourage curiosity and debate.
“The artists are able to interact with counterparts in Asia – and beyond – and have also helped raise New Zealand’s profile in the Asia-Pacific arts scene.”
King says the residency programme is now recognised as a significant professional development opportunity for New Zealand artists and has gained the support of other agencies. “The Foundation is grateful for the support of our partners Creative New Zealand and Wellington City Council in providing these residencies.
“We’ve also worked with Pataka staff on a range of initiatives over the years, and we’re delighted the gallery has been so supportive of this project. ”
Wellington artist Kerry Ann Lee says the residency experience has enabled her work to reach more diverse audiences. “The experience of being an Asia New Zealand Foundation artist-in-residence has broadened my understanding of art-making outside of New Zealand through first-hand conversations, collaboration and cultural exchange. As an artist-in-residence, you are consciously working within limitations of time, materials, language and culture – constraints which encourage a creative approach to look for new words, images, things, methods and ideas to connect to others.”
The residencies are part of a range of Asia New Zealand Foundation professional development opportunities, which also include a Curator Tour to Asia and arts grants to support artists to undertake projects in the region. The Foundation also supports Asian artists on residencies in New Zealand. For more information: http://asianz.org.nz/our-work/arts-community
Exhibition: Imagine Asia: New Zealand artists respond to contemporary Asia
Dates: Sunday 22 Feb 2015 to Sunday 17 May 2015
Venue: Pataka Art + Museum, Corner Norrie and Parumoana Streets, Porirua
Entry is free