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White Fungus Out Now in 23 Countries

White Fungus Out Now in 23 Countries

The new edition of White Fungus is now on sale in 23 countries around the world. The magazine, which was founded by brothers Ron Hanson and Mark Hanson as a photocopied handout in Wellington in 2004, is being launched globally by WhiteCirc in London, recently started by Stuart White, of Dazed Group, and Kelly Clark, formerly of CoMag.

White Fungus signed a world-wide distribution contract with WhiteCirc after successfully releasing its 13th issue in 2013 at Kadist Art Foundation in San Francisco. The distribution deal begins with a new edition of the 13th issue.

White Fungus editor Ron Hanson says he is excited that they can now provide a global platform for New Zealand writers and artists. “There's so much great talent in New Zealand that flies under the radar,” Hanson says. “I think the global growth of the magazine demonstrates that New Zealand writers and artists can foot it on this scale. We draw on the mysterious nature of some it and for nearly ten years it's been working for us.”

The new edition includes an in-depth article on the subject of bats by New Zealand writer Tessa Laird, elucidating upon the author's love affair with the wondrous creatures while deconstructing misconceptions of bats in art and popular culture. The edition also features a new commissioned comic by Wellington artist Tim Bollinger, an article about the Wellington Media Collective by Mark Amery, an interview with Brydee Rood by Andrew Clifford, and fashion spreads by Auckland artists Clara Chon and Richard Orjis.

Since 2009, White Fungus has been based in Taiwan, though Ron spent a period back in Wellington doing his Master's in Art History at Victoria University. In Taiwan,White Fungus has gained a massive profile, recently featured in Business Today, the island's leading financial weekly.

In 2013, New Zealand became the first OECD country to sign a free trade deal with Taiwan. The move has precipitated closer cultural relations between the two countries. In 2015, New Zealand will be the focus of the Taipei Book Fair. In 2014 the annual Creative New Zealand / Asia New Zealand curators tour will take place in Taiwan. The recent developments are fortuitous for White Fungus which, while operating now globally, has it deepest roots in the two small countries.

"Both New Zealand and Taiwan are outsiders in many ways”, Ron Hanson says, “and that suits us. We don't shy away from that aspect. People are interested in learning about something different from off the beaten trail.”

In late 2012, White Fungus presented the work of Auckland dancer Zahra Killeen-Chance at Treasure Hill in Taipei. In August 2014, thanks to a grant from Asia New Zealand Foundation, White Fungus will be presenting Killeen-Chance in Hong Kong and Beijing.

“We're still as connected to New Zealand as ever,” Hanson says. “Now we've established ourselves in this part of the world, we look forward to presenting more New Zealand artists here. Zahra's performance went down a treat in Taipei. People had never seen anything like it. We think New Zealand and Taiwan are natural allies and it's amazing that this is happening at a government level now, when we've been facilitating exchanges on a grassroots level since 2000. It's an amazing synchronicity.”


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