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Asia New Zealand Museums Aotearoa Award 2006

19th January 2006

Asia New Zealand Museums Aotearoa Award 2006

One of this years winner’s for the Asia New Zealand Museums Aotearoa Award has been announced as Whangarei Art Museum director Scott Pothan. The award consists of a six thousand dollar grant to further develop links with Asia and the Whangarei community, and to assist to curate a touring exhibition of historic carved Korean figures from the Choson Dynasty.

The annual award is funded by the Asia New Zealand Foundation, in association with Museums Aotearoa.

The Award was set up in 2000 to help foster and develop better understanding between New Zealand museums and galleries and their Asian counterparts. It encourages the exchange of information and people and creates opportunities for New Zealand institutions to exhibit in Asia or to enhance the content of their own work.

In August 2005 the museum director also received a travel grant of two thousand seven hundred dollars from the Asia NZ Foundation, to travel to Korea at the invitation of the Korea Foundation with other invited museum curators from all over the world including major institutions such as the LA County Museum British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum, and to attend the official opening of the new multi million dollar National Museum of Korea in Seoul.
The art museum had previously won this award in 2001 and developed and toured the exhibition Marginal Space from Whangarei to Auckland and Wellington.
It is perhaps the only institution to have been awarded funding twice.

The Founding Director of the Whangarei Art Museum, Scott Pothan said that since the inception of the Museum one decade ago this year, he had maintained a vision which allowed the extension of boundaries of understanding to go beyond Northland towards the Pacific Rim and more recently into Asia.

“The Northland peninsula is New Zealand’s outstretched arm in to the Pacific and Asia. The award will allow us to develop New Zealand’s first major exhibition of Korean historical painted carvings from the Choson period and from Buddhist temples to tour. The exhibition will be a feature exhibition at the Wellington International Festival of the Arts in 2008 at PATAKA Museum of Arts and Cultures, and is hoped to tour to Auckland and other centres.”

The Asia New Zealand Foundation was established to build New Zealand’s links with Asia and help New Zealanders develop the necessary skills to work effectively with their Asian counterparts. Its programs focus on culture and media, business and education.

Museums Aotearoa is the independent peak professional body for museums, including art galleries and science and natural history centres in New Zealand. It is focused on working at the forefront of advancing museums and their contribution to the community and seeks to strengthen the performance of Museums in New Zealand to increase their value to Stakeholders and actively promote the unique taonga of Aotearoa New Zealand.


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