SATELLITES connects the past, present and future of Aotearoa Asian art.

Satellites aims to connect the past, present and future of Asian arts practice in Aotearoa, supporting the development of unique Aotearoa Asian voices. In 2024, we are delivering three intertwined projects: a digital archive of Aotearoa Asian artists, a year-long season of online publishing and a visiting artists programme.


Rosabel Tan, Director

Rosabel is a writer, researcher and creative producer of Peranakan Chinese descent. She is the Director of Satellites, leading the visiting artist programme and developing the archive alongside Emma Ng. She was founding editor of arts and culture journal The Pantograph Punch, inaugural Curator: Asia for the 2022 Auckland Writers Festival and is a co-programmer for Verb Festival.

Rosabel has long wavy black hair and round silver glasses. She poses outdoors for a photograph.

Photo by Jinki Cambronero

Son La Pham, Designer

Son La is a graphic designer and developer from Aotearoa, now living in Berlin. He leads the website design, art direction and development for Satellites 2024. Son La's work reflects his interest in the critical implications and possibilities of new technologies, and new forms emerging on the web.

Son La has short dark hair and is wearing a black T-shirt in front of a shadowy background.

Photo by Andrei Blidarean

Melanie Kung, Archivist

Melanie is a librarian, writer and hibernating artist living in Tāmaki Makaurau. She holds a BFA (Hons) from the University of Auckland. Between 2013–15 she was a co-director at artist-run space RM. Her writing has appeared in Newsroom, Matters and Runway Journals. Her recent interests have included translation, Japanese feminist literature and drawing.

Melanie has a dark bob and is wearing small hoop earrings and checked shirt.Emma has long dark hair and is wearing a checked blue and brown dress. She poses outdoors for the photo.

Photo by Jinki Cambronero

Tim Wong, Archivist

Tim is a writer, designer and filmmaker. He designs full time for Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki Auckland Arts Festival, and as a freelancer supports fellow creatives in the making of their work. For the New Zealand International Film Festival he edited programmes between 2016–2020 and co-edited The Gosden Years in 2021. In 2015 he directed Out of the Mist. In another life, he was founding editor of The Lumière Reader.

Tim has horn-style glasses and a green cardigan. He poses outdoors for the photo.

Photo by Jinki Cambronero

Marc Conaco, Archivist

Marc Conaco is a queer Bisaya graphic designer, illustrator, zine maker and amateur farmer currently based in Tāmaki Makaurau. His work centres on reclaiming pre-colonial Bisaya culture and histories with a special interest in his queer ancestors (the babaylan), pre-colonial futurism and world-building. Their project for the archive focuses on trailblazing Aotearoa-based Filipino artists from a wide range of art practices.

Illustrated portrait of Mar Conaco in pink and purple. He has a moustache, a small beard and shrot hair.

Jean Teng, Archivist

Jean is a writer, critic and prolific eater. She has been the Food Editor of Metro magazine, a contributor to many other platforms, and enjoys spending most of her writerly time in the intersections between food, art, culture and identity. Jean is Malaysian-Chinese and was born in Kuala Lumpur and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau.

A woman with a black bob and a denim jacket stands in front of a wall

Julie Zhu, Documentation

Born in Xi’an, China and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, Julie is a photographer and filmmaker committed to championing marginalised voices and stories. She co-directs and co-hosts the podcast and docu-series Conversations With My Immigrant Parents for RNZ, directed the observational documentary series Takeout Kids (winning Best Director at NZ Web Fest), and was one of the directors on anthology feature film Kāinga. Her short film Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le won her Best Director and Best NZ Film at Show Me Shorts 2023.

Julie has cropped dark hair and poses against a deep red background.

Sananda Chatterjee, Producer

Born in Kolkata and raised in Delhi and Tāmaki Makaurau, Sananda is a multi-disciplinary artist of Bengali origin with a portfolio spanning large ensemble productions at Prayas Theatre and independent, intimate works exploring identity, gender and relationships. She is currently active as a freelance director and producer and is also an audience behaviour insights specialist, working for various organisations across Tāmaki Makaurau.

A woman with curly grey hair and glasses smiles with her eyes closed.

Emma Ng, Editorial Director

Emma is the Editorial Director of Satellites, developing the archive and working with artists and writers to commission and prepare content for the magazine. She is a writer and curator, specialising in art and design. Emma is a former Curator/Manager of Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, and also the author of Old Asian New Asian, published in 2017 by Bridget Williams Books.

Emma has long dark hair and is wearing a checked blue and brown dress. She poses outdoors for the photo.

Photo by Jinki Cambronero

Dilohana Lekamge, Archivist

Dilohana is an artist, writer and curator based in Tāmaki Makaurau. She is the Exhibition Curator & Gallery Manager at Depot Artspace and was formerly Gallery Coordinator at Fresh Gallery Ōtara and writer-in-residence at RM Gallery and Project Space. In 2022 she curated the exhibition The house is full at Te Tuhi. In 2021 she was the Associate Curator at the Performance Arcade and was a Facilitator at MEANWHILE from 2017 to 2019.

Dilohana has curly dark hair and is smiling widely, while posing outdoors for the photo.

Photo by Jinki Cambronero

Janhavi Gosavi, Archivist

Janhavi is a writer born in Mumbai and raised in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. She is a multimedia journalist with Re: News and has contributed to a variety of outlets in Aotearoa, including The Spinoff and The Pantograph Punch. Janhavi enjoys writing about society, art, race, pop culture and issues that are important to rangatahi. In 2022, Janhavi was the editor of Salient Magazine.

Janhavi has long dark hair and smiles for the photo while posing outdoors for the photo.

Photo by Jinki Cambronero

Jennifer Cheuk, Archivist

Jennifer Cheuk (卓嘉敏) is a mixed Hong Kong Chinese curator, researcher and editor. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Rat World magazine and the Programme Manager for the Auckland Writers Festival. Her project for the archive focuses on zines and independent publishing in the pan-Asian community as a way to connect, celebrate and educate.

Jenn's hair is tied up and she is smiling and wearing a red cheongsam.

JingCheng Zhao, Archivist

JingCheng Zhao likes writing and editing videos and is currently dabbling in home breweries with organic hand-picked produce (fruits from their garden) and crocheting. Their project for the archive focuses on queer Asian artists: what are they doing, what are they imagining, what are their desires and hopes?

Jing is wearing a white singlet and has short shaggy hair. They are posing on a bridge in front of a river.

Eda Tang, Archivist

Eda Tang is a journalist based in Tāmaki Makaurau, feature writing for The Spinoff and Ensemble magazine. She also writes and hosts Āku Hapa! a Māori language TV show to be broadcast on Whakaata Māori in 2024. She was previously a Pou Tiaki journalist at Stuff reporting on local and national news related to te ao Māori, health, culture, language and education. While completing her BA Honours at the University Auckland, she was the co-editor of Craccum, the university's student magazine.

Eda has long hair with copper highlights, and poses in front of some dried flowers for the photo.

Photo by Bree Bonzon-Liu

Nahyeon Lee, Filmmaker

Nahyeon is a writer, director and theatre producer of Korean descent based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa. In 2022, her debut play, The First Prime-Time Asian Sitcom was presented with Silo Theatre and she wrote and directed one part of the anthology feature film Kāinga, which premiered at NZIFF (2022) and traveled to Melbourne (MIFF), Hawaii (HIFF), Los Angeles (LAAPFF) and India (IFFI).

Nahyeon has mid-length silver hair and is laughing for the camera in front of a dark background.

The Satellites Curatorial Group


Xin Ji

Satellites was originally founded in 2016 through the support of Auckland Council’s Arts and Culture Programme. It had the explicit aim of addressing the programming deficit we were seeing across Tāmaki Makaurau when it came to our Asian diaspora artists, as well as the inequality we were seeing in arts programming across the city, with many outer suburbs less catered to in terms of baseline access to cultural experiences.

The programme was built around these ideas of access — not only geographical but financial and curatorial — and as a result was focused on the commissioning, creation and presentation of temporary installation and performance work across the city. Major works have included The Claw (2018), The Mood Machine (2018), K-Pop Party (2019) Kollywood Extra (2019) and The Crystal Ball (2019).

Over the years, its activities have included commissioning and presenting new work, facilitating national touring of that work, and advocating for the artists that it serves.

In 2020, during the pandemic, Satellites was defunded. While this was devastating, this also allowed for a critical moment of reflection, given the rapidly evolving nature of the city and its Asian arts communities.

During this period, we worked on and published Enter the Multiverse: Building a Stronger Sector for our Asian Arts Practitioners, which outlined three key pathways for investment in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our sector. They were:

  • Mid-career practitioners are supported to become leaders in Aotearoa on an international stage
  • Early-career practitioners have culturally safe opportunities to build capability
  • Asian diaspora artists have access to the opportunities and resources to develop a distinctive voice within Aotearoa

We recognise, and emphasise, that many of these conversations have relevance and resonance beyond our communities because our own success is tied to the success of our peers, and to the arts and cultural sector at large.

We have already seen tangible impacts of this research. The recommendations were used to directly inform the redesign of the Asian Artists' Fund, and funding support was offered through Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage to address the third recommendation — and, in particular, explore how this could be achieved through access to different types of knowledge.

These knowledges include understanding the whenua we occupy, and our place as tangata tiriti, as well as the shoulders we stand on — specifically, the history of Asian diaspora artists and art-making in Aotearoa. It also involves having the opportunity to be in dialogue with artists who are navigating ancestral knowledges, and figuring out how these might be drawn on and translated in a diaspora context, rather than directly lifted and re-presented.

That’s why our work over the next year is focused on:

  • The creation of an online archive of Asian diaspora artists and art-making in Aotearoa
  • A six-issue online magazine that will unearth some of the larger themes emerging in the archive, as well as leading contemporary conversations relevant to our Asian diaspora artists in Aotearoa
  • A visiting artist programme where knowledge holders and practitioners will be invited to Aotearoa to share their knowledge and provide artists with an insight into alternative ways of making, thinking and doing.

We hope you enjoy exploring.


Photography: Daniel Farò

Photoshoot lighting assistant: Ashley Young

Photoshoot prop styling: Greta Billstein