Funding announced for arts grants

Asia-themed art installations and shows are set to make a big impact thanks to new grants from the Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono.

The latest projects to receive funding from the Foundation’s Arts Projects Fund include a 12-metre wide installation in Christchurch’s Cathedral Square and a K-Pop stage extravaganza for kids described as “an electric adventure about hard work and believing in your dreams”.

The successful projects demonstrate the breadth and diversity of Asian arts and will cater to a range of audiences, says Foundation Director of Arts Craig Cooper. 

“We want this stuff to be accessible and engaging no matter where you’re at with your Asia knowledge and understanding. It shouldn’t matter if you’re a kid living in Auckland or a retiree in Stewart Island, we want people to experience Asian arts where they’re at.”

The aim of the Arts Project Fund is to support New Zealand professional arts companies, events and organisations to deliver projects that will grow mainstream New Zealanders’ awareness and knowledge of Asian arts.

“They’re projects which aim to challenge ideas and start conversations about New Zealand’s connections and relationships with Asia,” says Cooper.

“The arts scene in Asia is one that both borrows from and reflects on traditional art forms and pushes boundaries and conventions to explore Asian cultures and Asia’s place in the world. Throughout the year we fund projects and artists which run that full spectrum.”

The latest grants awarded will also get Japanese short films to people from Auckland to Stewart Island, see a traditional Japanese kiln built in Waikato, and support the development of a photographic exhibition that will reflect on 125 years of Chinese life in New Zealand.

The next round of the Arts Project Fund is now open, applications due 1 November, 2019.

The successful projects

Zoe and the K-Pop Kids

Auckland Live
16 September to 14 October 2019    

Following the success of their free outdoor K-Pop party in early 2018, Auckland Live commissioned production house Satellites to work with Korean-New Zealander K-Pop choreographer Rina Chae to develop an interactive kids’ show, Zoe & the K-Pop Kids. This next iteration of the show will be supported by dramaturgical advice and enhanced production design and is aimed at kids aged four to 10.

Made in China

SCAPE Public Art Trust 
1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020

Public arts festival SCAPE is hosting a 12-metre wide art installation from Chinese contemporary artist Sui Jianguo. Sui Jianguo’s inclusion in SCAPE reflects the rising profile of contemporary Asian art in the global art world and his importance as a key figure in the new generation of Chinese.  Made In China is one of his signature, large-scale, sculptural works that speaks to China’s new role as a global producer.

Show Me Shorts Film Festival

Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Stewart Island
5 October – 23 October

Show Me Shorts is New Zealand’s leading international short film festival, and this year will be including a programme of Japanese short films and host Japanese filmmakers and industry folk. The visitors will participate in screening events, Q&As and networking opportunities. The festival’s director Gina Dellabarca recently attended the Tokyo Short Shorts Film Festival to select films for inclusion in the programme thanks to our Arts Practitioners’ Fund.

Solo show by Japanese ceramic artist Kasumi Ueba

Waiclay Ceramic Collective
Cambridge and Hamilton, Waikato
1 November 2019 to 1 April 2020

 Waiclay Ceramic Collective will host Japanese ceramic artist Kasumi Ueba at ArtsPost Gallery, Waikato Museum. The project includes a solo exhibition by Kasumi, the construction of a large Japanese Anagama-style wood firing kiln in Cambridge and Kasumi and her partner Derek Larsen will hold workshops in wood firing and in traditional Japanese enameling work. She will also be selector and judge of the biannual Ceramic Awards Exhibition Waiclay.

Being Chinese in Aotearoa: A photographic journey

New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata;
20 November 2019 to 10 February 2020  

Towards Being Chinese in Aotearoa: A photographic journey an exhibition that celebrates 175 years of Chinese life in New Zealand. It includes historic photographs and biographical accounts ranging from early Chinese settlers through to new migrants, giving a perspective of changing attitudes in New Zealand. The exhibition is touring from Auckland Museum and the Wellington presentation will feature a contemporary artistic response by local artist, Kerry Ann Lee.