Artist selected for prestigious Japan residency and international art festival

Artist Sarah Hudson (Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Pūkeko) has been selected for Naoshima Artist Residency and to participate in the prestigious Setouchi Triennale - a contemporary art festival held every three years on islands in Japan's Seto Inland Sea.
Sarah in a floral green jumpsuit standing in a mustard-coloured room

Sarah Hudson: "I am humbled and honoured to receive this incredible opportunity to undertake the artist residency and participate in the Setouchi Triennale."

Sarah Hudson, an artist based in Whakatāne, has exhibited widely in her individual practice and with the highly-acclaimed Mataaho Collective.

Hudson’s solo practice explores tino rangatiritanga (sovereignty), play, whenua (land), reciprocity, and relationships through painting, performance, video and sculpture.

Completing her Masters in Fine Arts with distinction through Massey University in Wellington in 2010, Hudson has exhibited nationally and internationally with Mata Aho. She is also a founding member of the Kauae Raro Research Collective - an organisation dedicated to the promotion and retention of Māori paint-making technologies.

"I am humbled and honoured to receive this incredible opportunity to undertake the Artist Residency and participate in the Setouchi Triennale. I'm looking forward to furthering my practice, which is grounded in my Māori heritage, in the land of the rising sun. Nga mihi maioha, heartfelt gratitude to McCahon House, the Fukutake Family, Setouchi Triennale and Asia New Zealand Foundation for recognizing the power of indigenous voices and perspectives. I'm ready to make meaningful connections through art." Sarah Hudson.

The residency programme is managed by McCahon Trust with support from founding partners the Asia New Zealand Foundation and STILL. 

The month-long residency in Japan will provide Sarah with the opportunity to explore, research and develop new work which will be exhibited in the Setouchi Triennale.

"This is a perfectly timed opportunity for Sarah to focus on her individual practice through a residency located in such a fascinating environment. Creating a new work and exhibiting in the Setouchi Triennale 2025 will expand and extend her networks and share Aotearoa's unique art and culture with audiences internationally. We are excited to walk alongside and support Sarah as we forge these new international pathways for our artists". Jude Chambers, Executive Director McCahon House.

The residency will take place on an island in the Seto Inland Sea. Several of these islands fall under the Benesse Art Site Naoshima, which encompasses art-related efforts in the region.

The contemporary art and architecture of the Benesse Art Site Naoshima exist within the pristine nature and sceneries of the islands, filled with site-specific artworks created by world renowned contemporary artists in a landscape with rich cultural and historical fabric.

The Fukutake family have strong connections to New Zealand, having resided here since 2009 and family member, Hideaki Fukutake, founded STILL in 2020, an Aotearoa based business that espouses a unique worldview focused on the development of art, culture and nature.

“In my work in both Japan and New Zealand I am looking to develop projects that can endure for centuries, and have a strong heritage and reputation that future generations can be proud of. There are a lot of shared values between Japan and New Zealand and I am pleased we can develop new arts projects and relationships between the two countries I consider home”. Hideaki Fukutake, chief executive STILL.

“Forming long-term partnerships with first class practitioners means we can develop really substantial opportunities for New Zealand artists to participate in projects and form new networks in Asia,” says Craig Cooper, director arts at Asia New Zealand Foundation.

The Setouchi Triennale was established in 2010 to focus on artistic endeavours that highlight local communities and make use of existing spaces and ecological features of the region. The festival has played a significant role in the growth and redevelopment of the region and is revered in the art world. Sarah will be the first artist from Aotearoa to be commissioned to create new work for the Triennale.

Artistic director, Mr Fram Kitagawa had the challenging task of selecting one artist from those nominated by a selection panel convened by McCahon House.

He reflects "The artist's interest in the community leads her to observe the seemingly unnoticed feature of the site. She then extracts the unique character of the locality and expresses it in her artwork. This is very encouraging, which aligns with the core values of Setouchi Triennale."

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Milly Hewat-Wall +64210680303