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Dynamic International Artists Return To Ōtautahi Christchurch

International art returns to Ōtautahi Christchurch. Since Covid 19 we have missed having international artists present their work in our city. But we’re back with a dynamic public art programme showcasing Beijing-based artist Nabuqi and South Korean artist Bona Park.

Covid has seen a challenging environment where our artists have been unable to be on the ground with us, and has meant our curator Jamie Hanton and local fabricators have had to work long-distance with our artists to produce their work locally. Nabuqi provided GHD Engineers with a specification manual so we could re-create her work precisely and locally.

A brilliant partnership with Asia NZ has helped us bring these international artworks to our city.

“We’re really happy to be involved in supporting the SCAPE season again this year. Particularly exciting for the Foundation are the two pieces by Beijing-based artist Nabuqi, as well as a new piece from Korean artist Bona Park. Both works provide New Zealanders with real insight into contemporary Asia and the exciting artists that reside there. China and Korea no longer simply follow global arts trends – they create them.” Asia New Zealand Foundation Director Arts, Craig Cooper.

Contemporary artist Nabuqi employs an array of manufactured and readymade objects in Destination, a work first created in 2018 and exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2019. The billboard structure, lights, a range of artificial plants, and a large-scale printed image that could be taken from a stock photo album combine to create a theatrically lit billboard that seems to be advertising a Photoshop-perfect tropical getaway. The creation of an imaginary, utopian island dream: the plastic foliage protrudes through the surface of the image and in this respect, Destination competes with reality in not quite living up to the promise of the fantasy.

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Sited on the busy Montreal Street outside Christchurch Art Gallery and facing the northbound traffic, Destination even mirrors the placement of streetside advertising. Passed at speed, the absurdity of the situation may catch the corner of the eye, however, on foot, the full strangeness becomes apparent.

In a newly-commissioned audio-visual work by Bona Park, The Circular Ruins, a girl knocks, tickles, caresses, scratches, and rubs on the ruins of two centuries-old Buddhist temples just outside of Seoul, South Korea. Throughout the work, we never see a full view of the scene, instead we experience the ruins through the sensations and movements of the girl whose actions wake the site and its long-held memories. She bounces back and forth between past, present, and future in the ruins. With its focus on intimate and bodily sounds the work references ASMR, the sensory phenomenon where a trigger – or combination of triggers – creates a cascade of gentle tingling from the scalp, and suggests alternative, more tactile ways of connecting with our histories.

Located on the Ballantynes air-bridge over Colombo Street and at the bottom of the Clock Tower stairwell in the Arts Centre, Bona Park’s work will challenge your senses in a single channel HD video that includes colour and sound, with a 13 minutes 2 seconds duration.

SCAPE Public Art Season 2021 is open until 14 January 2022. 8 new artworks from leading international and local artists. Celebration of 15 legacy artworks via SCAPE’s public art walkways.

Soak in the sun, wander the city and discover the delight of new public art this summer. We’re free, safe, and outside, so get your whānau (big and small) together and join us to art explore this summer.

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