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Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tāmaki Reopens 13 June: Nau Mai, Haere Mai!

‘Auckland Art Gallery is all about connecting art with people and we are incredibly excited to be welcoming visitors back from 13 June,’ says Auckland Art Gallery Director Kirsten Paisley. ‘We can’t wait to share our building full of engaging art experiences with everyone – from first-time visitors to repeat visitors – again soon.’

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is reopening its doors to the public from 10am on Saturday 13 June with the launch of a new – and very timely – exhibition, Civilisation, Photography, Now (until 18 October), alongside extended presentations of Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan (until 16 August) and contemporary art show, Honestly Speaking: The Word, the Body and the Internet (until 30 August).

Following its temporary closure in March due COVID-19, and with the wellbeing of all in mind, the Gallery, including Gallery shop and Gallery Mojo café, will reopen with physical distancing measures, capacity limits and increased cleaning procedures that adhere to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 requirements.

Kirsten Paisley says, ‘We are thrilled to be reopening with the launch of a major new exhibition Civilisation, Photography, Now. Examining the hyperconnected world that we live in today – a complex, interwoven system that we’ve watched shutdown and change immeasurably under COVID-19 – this exhibition is more prescient than ever. In the two months since we were forced to down tools on its installation so much has changed.’

‘Now, we bring new eyes to the exhibition’s more than 200 original photographic images from around the world, as we consider how the way we live, travel and connect impacts on us all. Civilisation, Photography, Now is incredibly timely and relevant. It prompts us to think about how, as a global community, we have lived, are living and wish to live in the future.’

‘I’m pleased we are also able to extend those exhibitions that were prematurely closed due to lockdown, meaning that Gallery visitors will also be able to visit the exquisite international exhibition of historic Japanese art, Enchanted Worlds, and Honestly Speaking, our exhibition of New Zealand and international contemporary art’ says Paisley.

Since New Zealand entered nationwide lockdown, Auckland Art Gallery’s building has been in its dormant state: one that was originally designed in preparation for natural disaster. Sealed off from the outside world, the building’s internal climate control system has been maintaining optimal conditions to protect and preserve Auckland’s unique art collection with works covered by conservation material and kept in the dark with the lights off throughout the building.

Kirsten Paisley says: ‘Since Level 3, our specialist teams have been gradually reentering the Gallery to complete installation of Civilisation, Photography, Now and to prepare all our spaces for reopening. It has been a fascinating experience to watch the Gallery reawaken post-shutdown, but one that will only be complete when we have our community – our visitors – back in the building too.’

Alongside the physical Gallery experience, art lovers will be able to continue enjoying the Gallery online via digital media, including the immersive and recently launched virtual tour of Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan.

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