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National tour of Japanese art critic

Media Release

13 April 2004

Govett-Brewster hosts national tour of Japanese art critic Kentaro Ichihara

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery continues its high profile series of public programmes with a national lecture series by Japanese art critic and writer Kentaro Ichihara at the end of April.

Ichihara will speak at the Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium on Monday 26 April, New Plymouth’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery on Tuesday 27 April and at Te Papa in Wellington on Thursday 29 April in association with Mediarena: contemporary art from Japan, the largest exhibition of Japanese contemporary art ever held in New Zealand on show at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery until June 7.

Kentaro Ichihara

“Kentaro Ichihara is a major international speaker to be introduced to New Zealand audiences and someone whose presence will continue to increase the artistic dialogue between Japan and New Zealand, an important aspect of the Mediarena exhibition,” said Gallery Director and co-curator of Mediarena Gregory Burke.

Ichihara, a significant art critic and writer whose interests lie in the moving image and conceptual art, is a board member of the new Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and contributor to UK art magazine FRIEZE.

The writer, whose groundbreaking interview with internationally acclaimed artist Gerhardt Richter led to the publication of an influential Japanese-language book about the artist, will meet with artists and members of the artistic community including gallery professionals and art collectors.

“Kentaro Ichihara, who will discuss current Japanese art practices in a global context, is an extremely important figure in the international art community situated at the centre of emerging developments in Japanese art,” said Mr Burke.

The lecture series continues the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s extensive performance, speaker and music programme in association with Mediarena, the most comprehensive show of Japanese contemporary art every shown in Australasia. Since opening on March 13, the show has received critical acclaim nationally and internationally, and has attracted more than 8000 people to the Gallery and national public events.

Mediarena features artists working across a wide range of media from painting to sound art and video, with a special focus on the high level of digital animation and interactive work being produced in Japan today. The exhibition was conceived in 1999 when Gregory Burke met Fumio Nanjo, now co-curator of Mediarena and Deputy Director of the Mori Art Museum, at a museums conference and resolved to increase the artistic recognition between the two countries.

Fumio Nanjo and Roger McDonald, also a co-curator of Mediarena and Deputy Director of Arts Initiative Tokyo, a new non-profit arts organisation, participated in national lectures and performance events in March. Mediarena Lounge, a successful evening event staged nationally, featured artist lectures and performance events by flamboyant rock duo Gorgerous.

Two of Tokyo’s hottest experimental performers electronic music master NUMB and video-stream experts exonemo will perform direct from Tokyo in May in association with Mediarena.

The artists will appear in Mediarena: LIVE, a live music and performance event to be held in Auckland on 13 May, New Plymouth on 14 May, and Wellington on 16 May.

MEDIARENA LECTURES: Kentaro Ichihara Auckland: 6pm Monday 26 April, Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium New Plymouth: 6pm Tuesday 27 April, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Wellington: 6.30pm Thursday 29 April, Te Papa

The Auckland and Wellington lectures are supported by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tâmaki and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

FOR INTERVIEWS Mr Ichihara will be in Auckland: Saturday April 24 – Monday 26 April inclusive, New Plymouth: Tuesday 27 April – Wednesday 28 April midday, Wellington: 28 April pm to Thursday April 29 pm.

The Auckland and Wellington lectures are supported by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tâmaki and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Entry to these events is free, but donations are encouraged. To reserve a ticket ph: 06 758 5149 or email


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