Il­lus­trat­ing tales of Chi­nese Ki­wis

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - LIU CHEN

A new photo ex­hi­bi­tion il­lus­trat­ing the sto­ries of Chi­nese New Zealan­ders opens at Auck­land War Memo­rial Mu­seum next month.

The show, Be­ing Chi­nese in Aotearoa: A pho­to­graphic jour­ney, con­tains nearly 100 rarely-seen pic­tures.

They’re se­lected from a pool of nearly 10,000 pieces from 16 pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions in­clud­ing Archives New Zealand, the Na­tional Li­brary, and pri­vate fam­ily col­lec­tions.

So­cial his­to­rian Dr Phoebe Li, who cu­rates the ex­hi­bi­tion in col­lab­o­ra­tion with pho­to­graphic his­to­rian John B. Turner, says view­ers will be able to ex­plore the ‘‘dy­namic sto­ries of Chi­nese life in New Zealand’’.

They in­clude from the time of the first set­tler Appo Hoc­ton, who ar­rived in 1842, to the new migrants of the 1990s and 2000s, from pi­o­neer­ing gold­min­ers and mer­chants to ar­chi­tects and en­trepreneurs, from early set­tlers to es­tab­lished com­mu­ni­ties.

‘‘Through hard phys­i­cal labour, self-sac­ri­fice, de­ter­mi­na­tion and in­no­va­tion, the Chi­nese, from the very be­gin­ning, have par­tic­i­pated in and con­trib­uted to the build­ing of New Zealand as a young mod­ern na­tion,’’ Li says.

‘‘Us­ing fine pho­to­graphs to tell and retell the sto­ries of Chi­nese in NZ, we aim to give an in­tro­duc­tion to this com­pli­cated his­tory as viewed from var­i­ous an­gles, yet with a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude to the fu­ture of our di­verse coun­try.’’ The ex­hi­bi­tion also in­cludes a new se­ries of con­tem­po­rary art­works by renowned graphic artist Ant Sang ( and writer He­lene Wong kaiti­aki (guardian) of an ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of Chi­nese ob­jects through to our an­nual cul­tural fes­ti­val.’’

Be­ing Chi­nese in Aotearoa: A pho­to­graphic jour­ney is open daily from Fe­bru­ary 10 in the Sains­bury Hor­rocks Gallery and free to view with mu­seum en­try.

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The Gock fam­ily, who were in­no­va­tive mar­ket gar­den­ers in Man­gere, pic­tured in the 1960s.

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