Aotearoa Contemporary Artist Talks


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Join us for a series of free talks with artists from the much-anticipated inaugural triennial exhibition Aotearoa Contemporary.

Aotearoa Contemporary offers a platform for new art and ideas in Aotearoa New Zealand. Set to occur every three years at the Gallery, Aotearoa Contemporary will cultivate a new generation of artistic voices, providing a showcase for what is new and current in New Zealand’s diverse cultural environment with its dynamic history of contemporary art.

Featuring 27 artists and 22 new compelling projects, the exhibition includes a range of different mediums and new art practices such as painting, textiles, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and a programme of new choreographed performances. With an emphasis on emerging and less visible practitioners, the triennial exhibition’s focus is on artistic breadth and art’s role in this country in responding to and generating new creative ideas and forms.

In this series of talks, hear from some of the artists themselves as they speak to some major themes in contemporary art.

  • 11.30am – Emerita Baik and Heidi Brickell
  • 12.30pm – Te Ara Minhinnick and Xin Ji
  • 1.30pm – The Killing Collective

The talks are free and no registration is require but space is limited.

Image credit: The Killing, 6-Pack, (detail) 2022. Agent Bodies, 2022, RMIT Gallery. Photo by Tobias Titz. 

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Heidi Brickell (born 1983, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland; Te Hika o Pāpāuma, Ngāti Apakura, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine, Rangitāne) holds a Bachelor of Design from Unitec and a Master of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts, the University of Auckland Waipapa Taumata Rau. Brickell’s practice explores how integrated lineages of mātauranga (knowledge) and language inform our psychological and relational spheres. She was the 2021 winner of the Molly Morpeth Canaday Akel Award and completed the Rita Angus artist residency in 2023 and Karekare House residency in 2021. Her work is held in collections of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna Waiwhetū, the Dowse Art Museum and the Wallace Arts Trust.

Emerita Baik (born 1994, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington; NZ/Korean) graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) from Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa in 2018 and is currently undertaking a Master of Fine Arts at Columbia University, New York, on a Fulbright scholarship. Her sculptural works focus on casting processes and material transfers to investigate the migrant experience and explore the relationship between language, abstraction, and materiality. Baik’s work is held in the collections of Wellington City Council and Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa. 

Te Ara Minhinnick (born 1995; Ngaati Te Ata; lives and works in Waiuku) holds a Master of Fine Arts from Whitecliffe College
of Art, where she currently works as a lecturer. Grounded within te ao Māori, Minhinnick creates sculptural installations which centre around the material whakapapa of whenua and the process of re-representing whenua as a site of evidence, a source to remember and a tāonga or treasure to be cared for by all. Minhinnick has exhibited in several galleries around Aotearoa, including SCAPE Public Art in Ōtautahi Christchurch and Artspace Aotearoa, Te Uru and Tautai Pacific Arts Trust in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Xin Ji (born 1988; China, Aotearoa New Zealand; lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Beijing) trained in Chinese classical ballet at the Beijing Dance Academy and studied contemporary dance at Unitec. In addition to his passion for dance and choreography, he also makes video works, which have been shown at the Tipperary Dance Platform in Ireland, the Moving Images International Video Dance Festival in Cyprus and the Tempo Dance Festival in Tāmaki Makaurau.

The Killing (est. 2021) is a collective of five artists based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Born out of a friendship group during their time at the Elam School of Fine Arts, the collective explores ideas of play, naivety, identity, Queerness and honouring one’s inner child. While their practice shifts between image making, performance, sewing, sculpting and beyond, it is most known for playful and immersive large-scale installations. The Killing has exhibited in Aotearoa and internationally, including the RMIT Gallery in Melbourne, Australia.