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Rotorua celebrating Chinese influences in art and business

Rotorua celebrating Chinese influences in art and business

Rotorua’s Chinese influences will be under the spotlight at Rotorua Lakes Council on Friday [25 September] with the opening of The Ancient Arts of China gallery exhibition and the launch of the Rotorua Chinese Community of Commerce.

Settlement in Rotorua by Chinese immigrants dates back to the early 1900s. Today there are many third and fourth generation Kiwi-Chinese living in the district, along with more recent arrivals.

A collection of official gifts and artworks the council has received from Chinese delegations, associations and visiting dignitaries over the years will be on display, including a number of traditional scrolls, a large oil painting, silk works, and statuettes. Some of the gifts have been in safe storage so the council is pleased they are now able to be displayed for the public to enjoy.

Council community arts advisor, Marc Spijkerbosch, said the latest exhibition’s opening is perfectly timed to coincide with the annual Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival and the official launch of the Rotorua Chinese Community of Commerce.

The Ancient Arts of China exhibition is informative and engaging. It’s not just about the art objects themselves but more about what they represent – the cultural and historical significance. It provides a fascinating insight.”

The new Chinese Community of Commerce includes representatives from business, health and education sectors who can assist potential Chinese investors with local knowledge and referrals to members.

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said launching the Chinese Community of Commerce was a wonderful initiative that co-presidents Dr Chris Low and Frank Zhou, and other supporters, had invested a lot of energy and time into.

“We all know how important China is to the New Zealand economy, and local Chinese business operators are also becoming increasingly important to Rotorua’s growing economy. Already Chinese Community of Commerce members are doing great things for our city and I’m sure many other great initiatives are going to come from this new organisation.”

Dr Low said there were many successful Chinese immigrants currently in business and in professional occupations in Rotorua.

“So business leaders and professionals have formed this organisation to bridge relations between potential Chinese investors and local businesses and the wider community in Rotorua.

“By engaging with Chinese businesses and investors, and working in partnership with the council and other local entities, we aim to help develop and grow Rotorua, and safeguard the future for our local community.”

The opening of The Ancient Arts of China art exhibition and the launch of the Rotorua Chinese Community of Commerce is on Friday 25 September from 4pm to 6pm in the Rotorua Lakes Council Civic Centre Galleria and council chamber.


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