Focus on Asia Generates a Vibrant Cultural Exchange

Festivals and art institutions in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China and Singapore are inviting New Zealand artists to collaborate with them as a part of Creative New Zealandís Focus on Asia initiative

November 23rd, 2016
Dominika Vozarova, CD News

“Arts activity across Asia is vibrant, collaborative and diverse, and we want to continue to be a part of it. By offering New Zealand artists the opportunity to continue to develop their practice and build professional networks in the region enriches our arts offering as well as attracting new audiences,” says Creative New Zealand Chair, Dick Grant.

“Focus on Asia gives our artists opportunities to create new work for audiences in Asia, present new work in Asia and exchange artistic and cultural practices. We also develop audiences, markets and networks for New Zealand arts in specific Asian countries. In partnership with Asia New Zealand Foundation, we host festival directors, presenters and curators in Aotearoa so they gain a greater understanding of our unique cultural and artistic practice,” says Creative New Zealand Senior Manager for International, Cath Cardiff.

Exhibition Sriwhana Spong and Maria Taniguchi: Oceanic feeling at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Singapore is the first major survey of New Zealand artist, Sriwhana Spong’s, and Filipino artist, Maria Taniguchi’s, decade-long practices. The exhibition reflects on both artists’ concerns with material, technological and natural processes, through sculpture, painting, film and video, and performance. “The support I received from Creative New Zealand enabled me to present new work as part of the ten year survey. It was an opportunity for a fresh reading of my practice with an audience who has not been exposed to my work and its history before,” says Sriwhana.

Atamira Dance Company’s Artistic Director, Moss Patterson, will take six male dancers from Wellington and Auckland, many of whom have never left New Zealand, to perform Pango at Taiwan’s Pulima Art Festival and China’s Guangdong Dance Festival. Moss describes the process of creating Pango as experimental, collaborative and challenging. Rosanna Raymond, curator of the New Zealand exhibition, which comprised of 80 large scale works from Māori and Pacific photographers at China’s Pingyao International Photography Festival, says the reaction from audiences more than overcame the language barrier.

Photographers Russ Flatt and Raymond Sagapolutele made an impact in the 2000 year old fortress city of Shanxi, attracting capacity audiences to their floor talks.  “The chance to network, build alliances and make connections with other curators from Asia, South Africa, Cuba, Venezuela and Australia was invaluable and has already led to new opportunities for international exhibitions,” says Rosanna. The invitation to exhibit at the renowned photography festival was received independently of Focus on Asia by the Auckland Festival of Photography. It was supported by two successful Quick Response Grants for the development and presentation of the exhibition.



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