Contemporary New Zealand art on display in China

Two weeks ago I was in Shanghai for the opening of the exhibition Meridian Lines: Contemporary Art from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa at the China Art Museum with artist Yuk King Tan and Wen Powles, Te Papa’s International Strategy Advisor.

The China Art Museum is the new home of the Shanghai Art Museum, which has relocated to the China Pavilion from the 2010 World Expo.

The China Art Museum in Shanghai. Photo: Hutch Wilco, Te Papa

The China Art Museum in Shanghai. Photo: Hutch Wilco, Te Papa

As part of their re-opening celebrations, the China Art Museum invited several international museums to contribute exhibitions from their collections. The other museums included the British Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Victor Hugo Museum and the National Council for Culture and the Arts of Mexico.

While many of these institutions selected important historical works from their collections, we decided to present a selection of contemporary art from New Zealand. Meridian Lines includes works by Bill Hammond, Ralph Hotere, Ani O’Neill, Michael Parekowhai, John Pule, Yuk King Tan and Gordon Walters.

Here’s a glimpse at our exhibition…

From left to right, artworks by Yuk King Tan, Ralph Hotere and Gordon Walters. Photo: Hutch Wilco, Te Papa

From left to right, artworks by Yuk King Tan, Ralph Hotere and Gordon Walters. Photo: Hutch Wilco, Te Papa

The response to the exhibition was really quite overwhelming with a strong level of interest from both the local Chinese and other international visitors. Yuk King Tan’s work was reproduced on the second page of the English language South China Morning Post newspaper and one morning I discovered the show being featured on a Chinese television station.

Yuk King Tan’s work featured in the 'South China Morning Post', 2 October 2012.

Yuk King Tan’s work featured in the ‘South China Morning Post’, 2 October 2012.

The China Art Museum anticipates that approximately half a million people will visit the museum by the end of the year, when our exhibition closes.

Listen to Mary Kisler discussing the exhibition with Kim Hill on Radio New Zealand National.

Sarah Farrar

Curator of Contemporary Art

2 Responses

  1. Jen J

    Fantastic! Its great to see Kiwi art exhibited far and away. How long is the Meridian Lines due to exhibit?

    Reply
    • Sarah Farrar

      Thanks for your message. The exhibition was on show until January 2013. We’ve just received word that the China Art Museum had over 500,000 visitors during the time Meridian Lines was on show.

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