Artworks by Chinese and Maori women going on show

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An exhibition featuring Chinese and Maori women’s artworks is staged in East Auckland in February.

The Chinese and Maori Women Art Exhibition at the Asia Cultural Centre, in Pakuranga, is organised by the International Women’s Association NZ in conjunction with Nga Wahine Atawhai o Matukutureia Maori Women’s Welfare League, and Te Mahurehure Cultural Marae Society.

As the second Chinese Maori Culture Day initiated by the association, it aims to promote cultural exchange between Chinese and other New Zealanders, especially Maori.

The 100 artworks of paintings, calligraphy, photos, sculptures and handcrafts are collected from association members, other NZ Chinese women, and the two Maori organisations.

“Women are more soft and sensitive, making their artworks distinct from men’s,” association chair Jennifer Liao says.

She believes many exhibitions are dominated by men and this one is a good chance to start conversations about “getting women out of the house”.

“We see this exhibition as a chance to motivate and encourage other women to explore their hobbies and balance their lives,” Liao says.

About 60 per cent of the works are by Chinese artists and the rest by Maori.

The association hopes the inaugural show can trigger more similar events involving different groups.

Association member Joy Chen is excited that her painting will be included in an exhibition for the first time.

“If I can do it, others can also do it,” she says.

“It’s a good opportunity for women to showcase themselves. Through this platform we can build connections among Chinese women, as well as with Maori.”

Auckland firm Pin Cross Cultural Design Solutions is helping with the event.

Its director Kylie Liu, also an association member, says: “Maori and Chinese have a long history of friendship.

“This exhibition offers a great opportunity for many new immigrants to understand and experience the New Zealand culture through art.”

Founded in early 2014, the association had its first appearance at culture day at Ruapotaka Marae, in Glen Innes, last year, in which Chinese and Maori people experienced each other’s dance, food and handcrafts.

The Chinese and Maori Women Art Exhibition displays for a month from February 11 at the Asia Cultural Centre at 308 Ti Rakau Drive, Pakuranga.

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