21 May 2012
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Three New Zealand curators working to build art links with Asia have been chosen to tour the cutting-edge contemporary arts scenes in China, South Korea and Japan.
Auckland curators Andrew Clifford and Vera Mey, and Wellington’s Mark Williams will participate in the three-week 2012 Curator Tour, supported by Creative New Zealand and the Asia New Zealand Foundation.
The tour, which is the third of its kind, includes visits to leading museums, galleries, and artist spaces in the three countries. The curators will visit the Gwangju Biennale and Media City Seoul in Korea, and the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial in Japan. The locally facilitated tour will also include meetings with leading institutions and artists in Beijing and Shanghai.
Asia New Zealand Foundation director of culture Jennifer King says she is particularly excited to have Japan included in the programme for the first time.
“The Echigo Triennial is not well-known in New Zealand but it’s a really interesting concept that combines modern art with the traditional countryside, and will certainly provide fresh inspiration for the curators.
“We’ve been told by the curatorial community that these tours allow them to gain access to networks they would otherwise not be able to, and to gain a real understanding of the region. We’re aware of exciting exhibitions being planned by New Zealand curators who participated in the previous tours, as a result of the contacts they have made.”
She thanked Creative New Zealand for supporting the tour again this year.
“Creative New Zealand recognises the importance of building strong artistic links with Asia,” says Cath Cardiff, senior manager Arts Policy, Capability and International at Creative New Zealand “We look forward to seeing relationships and opportunities that have been nurtured over the last three years, continue to develop and grow”.
Background about the curators:
Andrew Clifford is a freelance writer and works as a curator at The University of Auckland’s Centre for Art Research. The Centre administers the Gus Fisher Gallery, the University’s art collection and the student-led Window gallery. Andrew has a longstanding interest in New Zealand’s cultural context as part of the Asia-Pacific region. He has been involved in bringing many Asian artists and their works to New Zealand, and in curating exhibitions with Asian-New Zealand artists.
Vera Mey is the assistant director of Auckland University of Technology's ST PAUL St Gallery. She aims to become an expert in contemporary Asian art and histories, informed by her curatorial practice and her background as a first-generation Asian New Zealander of Cambodian and Indonesian heritage. Last year she participated in the Gwangju Biennale’s third International Curator Course in South Korea, and was able to build extensive networks in Asia.
Mark Williams is the founding director of arts agency CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand, launched this year. The agency’s collection features a number of Asian New Zealand artists, including Jae Hoon Lee, Seung Yul Oh, Hye Rim Lee and Samin Son. Mark worked at the New Zealand Film Archive from 1999 to 2010, for much of that time as exhibitions manager. Earlier this year, he was invited to attend the Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, where he screened a number of films and took part indiscussions about the reuse of archival images.
For media inquiries contact:
Asia New Zealand Foundation
Telephone 64 4 470 8701
Creative New Zealand
Telephone: 64 4 498 0727