WARE artist explores
Wellington's coastline paradox

Artist Josette Chiang came to Wellington looking for a stretch of coastline to measure as part of an ongoing mapping project examining the indeterminacy of measurement.

WARE artist Josette Chiang describes her project Coastline Paradox

Chiang, who grew up in Hong Kong and studied fine art at the University of Arts London, found what she was after in a rugged windswept coast south of Wainuiomata. 

It is a stretch of coast where techtonic upheavels over thousands of years are visible in the form of ancient beaches, some of which are now hundreds of metres inland. 

Changing foreshores have intrigued Chiang for a number of years and in previous works she has examined the impact of both natural and human activities on coastlines.

"There are more complex ways of understanding what a coastline is other than it being the edge of a land mass," she says.

"The coastline represents both a cut-off point (barrier of land mass) and also an endless continuation."

Featuring video, sculpture, sound and text, Chiang's resulting work, Coastline Paradox, featured at Toi Poneke Gallery in November. 

Chiang describes the work as a "subjective study of 7000 years of techtonic uplifts whose presence remains etched on the landscape..."

Chiang is in New Zealand as the 2017 Wellington-Asia Residency Exchange (WARE) artist in resident.

WARE is an artist’s residency programme managed by Wellington City Council in partnership with the Asia New Zealand Foundation. This year’s residency has been supported by CIRCUIT.