Press Release – City Gallery Wellington
City Gallery Wellington may be mistaken for a darkened cinema from February , when the Gallery will present the fascinating, funny and politically active world of Asian video art in the exhibition Moving On Asia: Towards a New Art Network 2004–2013 (22 February–3 June 2013).
“City Galley has never embarked on an exhibition quite like this before,” comments curator Aaron Lister. “The whole lower level of the Gallery will be transformed in to a dark space for moving image and we think visitors are going to have a completely different ‘art’ experience in this show.”
In 2011 curator Aaron Lister travelled to China and South Korea on a Curator’s Tour of the region coordinated by the Asia New Zealand Foundation and Creative New Zealand. At the alternative artist space Gallery Loop in Seoul, he was introduced to Move on Asia, a diverse archive of Asian video art.
The Moving On Asia video art archive was established in 2004 and is contributed to by 50 curators from the Asia Curator Network and now includes 130 artists from Australia, China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. The archive is regularly exhibited around the globe and as part of this exhibition the curators will nominate New Zealand video art to enter the archive.
Lister’s trip to Asia was followed up in 2012 by Mark Williams, Director of the website Circuit Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand, who also undertook the Asia New Zealand Curator’s Tour. Williams was invited to co-curate Moving on Asia alongside Aaron Lister. The exhibition also provides the opportunity to connect the archive to the Circuit website of New Zealand video artists, testing how NZ video work sits in relation to the Asia Pacific.
The challenge for co-curators Aaron Lister and Mark Williams was how to present the vast amount of work in Moving on Asia, whilst maintaining the open, democratic nature of the network. The curators have decided to expand the archive, to ask some artists to present new work, to include other works not in the archive and also to propose the work of New Zealand artists for inclusion in the archive—thinking about how New Zealand video art sits in relation to the Asia Pacific region.
During the exhibition City Gallery will be filled with large screens, viewing pods and portals where visitors can take time to explore the video work and learn more about the Move on Asia archive.
“The Moving on Asia archive is vast,” says curator Aaron Lister. ‘So we’ve decided to break the exhibition down into three ‘chapters’, each showing completely new work and grouped around a different theme. We encourage visitors to visit the Gallery regularly during the show’s season because the exhibition will change entirely three times and there will always be a new artist’s work to see.”
High profile artists in Moving on Asia who will be new to New Zealand audiences include MadeIn Company Ltd (pictured) whose work is a 30 minute fitness routine that visitors are invited to join in, Sun Xun, who combines traditional Chinese materials with new media, Meiro Koizumi, whose work comes fresh from a solo show at MoMA in New York, and Minouk Lim, who investigates the changing cityscapes of urban South Korea.
Moving on Asia will be accompanied by a lively series of public events, including special feature screenings in the Adam Auditorium to launch each new themed chapter of the exhibition.