Asian Aotearoa Arts Hui 2018 Event


NameAsian Aotearoa Arts Hui 2018
Start Date2 September 2018
End Date23 September 2018
CuratorKerry Ann Lee
Organiser / VenueMassey University College of Creative Arts, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
CityPōneke Wellington


The Asian Aotearoa Arts Hui (AAAH) was a month-long festival that took place in Pōneke Wellington in September 2018, hosted by Massey University College of Creative Arts and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The gathering aimed to “support Asian New Zealand arts practitioners through presenting practice, sharing ideas and networking”, as well as “make visible settlement histories in Aotearoa and creative cross-cultural conversations generating from our relationships with Māori, Pasifika, Pākehā, other migrant communities and with each other.”

During the opening weekend, hundreds of people representing different generations and artforms gathered in the city. An opening party at Te Papa (organised by Emma Ng) featured a ‘pick-your-own-path’ programme of performances, workshops, interactive art experiences, short talks and karaoke. The following day, a symposium at the museum canvassed a wide variety of Aotearoa Asian arts practices, issues, and stories. Te Papa also exhibited Yuk King Tan’s major artwork The New Temple – I give so that you may give, I give so that you may go and stay away (1995) to coincide with the festival, which enabled Tan to be in Aotearoa to attend AAAH.

Key events from the wider programme included a conversation between Lynda Chanwai-Earle and Tame Iti, a Zine Club with Helen Yeung and Ya-wen Ho, a pop-up radio station hosted by Wellington Access Radio, closing events at the Tung Jung and Seyip Associations, and many more masterclasses, talks and exhibitions. Asians Supporting Tino Rangatiratanga also hosted a public talk with Victoria University's Asian Law Students Association, which coincided with the hui and featured a memorable address from Dr Moana Jackson on the history of Māori and Chinese solidarity.

AAAH 2018 was led by artist Kerry Ann Lee. The festival followed several smaller earlier gatherings, such as the Chinese Arts Hui (Corban Art Estate, 2013), organised by Simon Kaan, Kim Lowe and Kathryn Tsui, and the Asian Aotearoa Artists Hui (Te Tuhi, 2017), organised by Amy Weng.

The festival was made possible through grassroots efforts, with the support of a large number of artists and contributors, as well as venues, organisations, businesses and other supporters across the country. These included local restaurants that hosted art installations in their windows during the festival. A large-scale public poster campaign also saw the work of Kim Lowe, Ant Sang, and Kerry Ann Lee displayed around the city during the festival, with the posters designed by Lindsay Yee.


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AAAH 2018 programme

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AAAH 2018 map

Design by Kelsey Gee

Scanned page with text.

AAAH 2018 credits

Social media posts about AAAH 2018

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The front rows of a pōwhiri shake hands and hongi, as other rows wait.

Pōwhiri at Massey University, September 20, 2018

Photo by John Lake

Ant Sang looks at a student's drawing while other students work around them.

Masterclass with Ant Sang, Massey University, September 21, 2018

Photo by John Lake

Kerry Ann Lee speaks in the foreground as other Asian people watch on, inside Chinese community rooms.

Progressive Morning Tea, Tung Jung Association, September 22, 2018

Photo by John Lake

Emiko Sheehan dances in a white spandex suit with a white wig, with Tame Iti, inside a pink-lit restaurant

Emiko Sheehan and Tame Iti dance at 'Chur - Asia Pacifika Kaikai', Big Thumb Restaurant, September 20, 2018

Photo by John Lake

A group of people sit around a table with zine materials in front of a zine display.

'Realign the Margins' AAAH Zine Club, Massey University, September 19, 2018

Photo by John Lake

Dilohana and Jon sit next to each other, laughing and holding microphones. An 'on air' sign is lit up in the background.

Dilohana Lekamge and Jon He, 'What we have to say (is worth sharing with you)' renegade radio station at Toi Pōneke Arts Centre, September 18, 2018

Photo by John Lake