Artists ready for
life-changing experience

A select group of dancers, artists, poets and filmmakers are now readying themselves for a life-changing experiences in Asia after receiving grants from the Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono.

The Foundation’s Arts Practitioners Fund gives support for experiential opportunities for New Zealand-based arts practitioners to deepen artistic and professional connections with Asia, including residencies, work placements, research tours and exchanges.

The eight successful grantees in this funding round are hugely diverse in their creative mediums and goals for their trip, said Director Arts Craig Cooper.

“Many of the projects we picked – and we really had some fantastic applications to choose from – will not only enhance the practitioners’ personal understanding of Asian arts and culture, but allow them to bring that understanding back to share with New Zealand audiences,” he said.

The successful applicants include high-profile artistic director, choreographer and filmmaker Shona McCullagh, who will be undertaking research in Taiwan to better understand the work and practice of Taiwanese artists and the possibilities for co-productions.

McCullagh will be travelling to Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung this month to meet with artists and programmers and visit venues and festivals. She will research various Taiwanese choreographers and designers with a potential view to collaborate with the New Zealand Dance Company in future.

Show Me Shorts Film Festival Director Gina Dellabarca was also successful in her grant application and will use the money to attend the 21st Short Shorts Film Festival in Tokyo to identify Japanese works to be presented in New Zealand.

Filmmaker Shuchi Kothari will travel to India in December to research opportunities for New Zealand filmmakers in the Indian screen industry. Her aim is to create connections for India-New Zealand co-productions, collaboration and internships.

Other grants include support for artists and writers to attend residencies, conferences and exhibitions.

“These kind of grants are hugely important to the creatives growing their practice, and for us at the Foundation it’s important because it grows the pool of people who have seen first-hand how exciting, dynamic and diverse Asia is,” said Cooper.

[Top image: Kiss the Sky, New Zealand Dance Company. Photo: John McDermott] 


Han Nae Kim

Visual artist Han Nae Kim has been invited to exhibit at the prestigious Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) in Hanoi. Kim is based in Auckland where she’s a doctoral candidate at Elam. She’s organised several art shows which have seen her introduce contemporary Asian lacquer practices to New Zealand audiences. Kim will be travelling to Vietnam from May 19 to 25. 

Gina Dellabarca

Show Me Shorts Film Festival Director Gina Dellabarca, MNZM, will attend the 21st Short Shorts Film Festival in Tokyo to identify Japanese works to be presented in New Zealand. Programming a collection of contemporary Japanese short films to New Zealand audiences will showcase the breadth of filmmaking talent in Japan’s creative sector with a wide range of styles and stories.

Daniel Belton

Performing artist, choreographer and producer Daniel Belton (Good Company Arts) will travel to China to undertake an artist residency at YINZI Theatre in Chongqing. During the residency Belton will deliver a Dance on Film workshop, performances and public lectures. He hopes to build long-term connections with artists and arts organisations in China. 

Doc Drumheller

Poet, performer and editor Doc Drumheller will represent New Zealand at the 39th World Congress of Poets (WCP) in India in late September, and then to experience Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KIIT & KISS), Konark, and Puri. Clements edits and publishes the South Island literary journal Catalyst. Catalyst will showcase writers and artists from Asia by publishing a feature of poets from the 38 WCP, and a feature of poetry and artwork by artists in India.

Lipika Sen

Artist and writer Lipika Sen will travel to India in September to undertake an artist residency at Belgadia Palace, Mayurbhanj Odisha, along with co-artist Prabhjyot Majithia. During the residency they will collaborate with the local indigenous communities, who live as one with the forests in Simlipal National Park. The artists’ multimedia practice includes interactive and experiential works, acrylic on canvas, digital drawings, words, sound, music, film and large scale public art such as their landmark kinetic sculpture – the six-metre tall, steel and acrylic Firkee Wala at the Puke Ariki Museum landing in New Plymouth. 

Nolwenn Lacire

Digital curator Nolwenn Lacire will go to Korea in June to attend the International Symposium of Electronic Art in Gwangju and meet with counterparts in Seoul. Lacire aims to find animated and/or interactive content in Korea that will provide highly accessible content for New Zealand audiences, especially for the outdoor digital screen in Aotea Square.

Shona McCullagh

New Zealand Arts Laureate, choreographer, director, installation artist and internationally acclaimed dance filmmaker Shona McCullagh will travel to Taiwan this month. The focus of this trip is to develop a full understanding of how Taiwanese arts practitioners operate to inform McCullagh how to curate and create Asian works that align with the New Zealand market.

Shuchi Kothari

Filmmaker, academic, and founding Executive of the Pan-Asian Screen Collective Shuchi Kothari will research Indian screen industry opportunities for New Zealand filmmakers with a programme of meetings in December. The new connections will inform opportunities for India-New Zealand co-productions and collaborations will make Asian content more readily accessible and eventually central to the next generation of New Zealand audiences.