Thursday 20 June 2024

The partnership will mark the first time an iwi has funded a nationwide New Zealand contemporary art exhibition.

Opening on Saturday 6 July, Aotearoa Contemporary provides a platform for new art and ideas in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Director of Auckland Art Gallery Kirsten Lacy says the exhibition is a celebration of the breadth of contemporary art in New Zealand.

“The Gallery is thrilled to partner with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to present a new generation of talented artists and showcase Aotearoa New Zealand’s diverse artistic environment.”

“Set to occur every three years, the exhibition provides ongoing representation and pathways for new artistic voices, bolstering the future resilience of New Zealand art. Aotearoa needs a contemporary art triennial and it now has one.” adds Lacy.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust Deputy Chair Ngarimu Blair says, “Our tupuna Apihai Te Kawau gifted 3000 acres of land on the Waitematā on 18th September in 1840 to become a city which welcomed people, cultures and ideas from afar. Our relationship with Auckland Art Gallery is founded in the shared goal to foster the arts reflective of our multi-cultural community in Aotearoa.”

With an emphasis on artists not previously exhibited at the Gallery, the exhibition presents 27 artists and 22 compelling new projects in a range of media including painting, textiles, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and performance.

Senior Curator, Contemporary Art, Natasha Conland says, “Aotearoa Contemporary reveals a new cluster of artists who work afresh with ritual and storytelling, mythology, rhythm, indigenous space and materials. There is also a special emphasis on art’s relationship with choreography through the commission of four dance works.”

Curator, Pacific Art, Cameron Ah Loo-Matamua adds, “From Ruth Ige’s enigmatic blue paintings of anonymous figures, to the art collective The Killing’s installation of supersized soft-toys in a state of play, there is something for everyone in this exhibition. Amongst the ambitious new commissions is a three-channel video by Qianye and Qianhe Lin featuring mythology set in Hailing Island off the coast of China and Aotearoa.”

Aotearoa Contemporary is proudly supported by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Auckland Art Gallery Foundation and the Chartwell Trust.

Aotearoa Contemporary has been scheduled to coincide with New Zealand’s leading contemporary art award, The Walters Prize 2024, to provide a broad overview of contemporary art in New Zealand in the Gallery’s winter programme.

The exhibition has been curated by Cameron Ah Loo-Matamua, Natasha Conland and Ane Tonga with support from Ruth Ha.

Exhibition details:
Aotearoa Contemporary
Saturday 6 July–Sunday 20 October 2024
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Artists featured in Aotearoa Contemporary
Emerita Baik, Leo Baldwin-Ramult, Heidi Brickell, Pelenakeke Brown, Jack Hadley, Ruth Ige, Hannah Ireland, Xin Ji, Reece King, Qianye Lin and Qianhe Lin, Te Ara Minhinnick, Ammon Ngakuru, Amit Noy, Sung Hwan Bobby Park, Meg Porteous, Maungarongo (Ron) Te Kawa, Tyrone Te Waa, The Killing (collective), Anh Trân, Manuha’apai Vaeatangitau, Jahra Wasasala and George Watson.

The commissioned performances in Aotearoa Contemporary include Pelenakeke Brown, Is this a performance 1+2, 2024; Xin Ji, Doco Dance, 2024; Amit Noy, Errant, 2024; and Jahra Wasasala, DRA, 2024.

Exhibition events

Artist talks
Sunday 7 July, 11:30am–2pm | FREE
In this series of talks, hear from some of the artists in Aotearoa Contemporary as they speak to some major themes in contemporary art. No registration is required but space is limited.

Young Members Curator Coffee & Kōrero | What’s Up in Contemporary Art?
Sunday 4 August, 10.30am–12pm | Gallery Members $20 (+fees)

At this Young Members event, Aotearoa Contemporary exhibition curators will give a crash course on ‘What’s up in contemporary art right now’.

Starting in the Members Lounge with coffee and pastries, Senior Curator, Contemporary Art, Natasha Conland and Curator, Pacific Art, Cameron Ah Loo-Matamua will introduce key artists and themes before exploring the exhibition.

This event is for Gallery Young Members only. Young Members is a programme for the bold and curious under 40s (and young at heart).