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Te Tuhi Presents Pulp III: A Short Biography Of The Banished Book, By Singaporean Artist And Writer Shubigi Rao

Pulp III: A Short Biography of the Banished Book, by Singaporean artist and writer Shubigi Rao, opens next week in Auckland, presented by Te Tuhi.

Originally commissioned for and presented at the Singapore Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, and curated by Ute Meta Bauer, Shubigi Rao’s Pulp III: A Short Biography of the Banished Book, takes the form of a book, film and paper maze, to explore the precarity and persistence of endangered languages, the futures of knowledge, public and alternative libraries, and the cosmopolitanism of regional print communities that have blossomed and waned in historic centres of print. The exhibition opens next Thursday at Te Wai Ngutu Kākā Gallery in the centre of Tāmaki Makaurau, and is presented by Te Tuhi, in partnership with Te Wai Ngutu Kākā Gallery.

Pulp III marks the midpoint of Shubigi Rao’s evocative 10-year project, Pulp, which explores the history of book destruction and those who persist in its margins to protect the futures of knowledge.

Set in two historic cities of print, Venice and Singapore, Rao’s film, Talking Leaves, explores the tales of those at the frontlines of saving books and libraries, by ways of personal confidences and poetic reflections, documentary and mytho-poetic languages. Her book, Pulp III: An Intimate Inventory of the Banished Book, chronicles her long-term artistic research process and conceptual reframing of the book and the library.

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Pulp III: A Short Biography of the Banished Book is a lyrical exhibition that charts the breadth of human cultural endeavour through shared stories of humanity and communities of print.

Shubigi Rao will be visiting Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in May for both the exhibition and the Auckland Writers Festival, through the generous support of Asia New Zealand Foundation.

Book-Exchange and Opening event at Pulp III: A Short Biography of the Banished Book.

Saturday 20 April 2024, 10am-11.30am

Te Wai Ngutu Kākā Gallery, 40 Saint Paul Street, Auckland CBD.

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland 1010

Coinciding with the 2024 Aotearoa Art Fair, Te Tuhi in association with Te Wai Ngutu Kākā is hosting a special book exchange, coinciding with the opening event for Shubigi Rao’s exhibition, Pulp III: A Short Biography of the Banished Book, at Te Wai Ngutu Kākā Gallery.

Ten copies of Rao's book, Pulp III: An Intimate Inventory of the Banished Book, are available to give away to the first 10 guests who bring a book to donate to the Samoa House Library.

Originally presented at the 2022 Venice Biennale, copies of the book are arranged in the exhibition in a way that speaks of the monumentality of the book as a container of knowledge and progenitor of change. The book is offered as a complementary artwork, a form of sharing and generosity that is integral to Rao's method.

The event is free and open to everyone. Coffee and pastries will be provided.

For more information, visit Te Tuhi’s website here

Auckland Writers Festival Talk - Pulp Friction: The Rise of Book Bans, a panel discussion.

Sunday 19 May 2024, 11.30am - 12.30pm

Hunua Room, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland CBD

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland 1010

Programmed as part of the Auckland Writers Festival 2024, Shubigi Rao will be joining a panel discussion covering the topic of the global rise of book bans. Participants in the discussion include authors Viet Thanh Nguyen and Lauren Groff, and journalist, Adam Dudding.

More information about ticketing for the panel discussion is available from the Auckland Writers Festival website here.

Additional Events

Additional events with the artist will be taking place while she is in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in May, organised in partnership with SATELLITES, a Tāmaki Makaurau-based arts organisation connecting the past, present and future of Aotearoa Asian art. More information will be available soon.

About the Artist
Artist and writer Shubigi Rao makes layered installations of books, etchings, drawings, pseudo-scientific machines, metaphysical puzzles, video, ideological board games, garbage, and archives, and her work has been exhibited and collected in Singapore and internationally. Her interests include archaeology, neuroscience, libraries, archival systems, histories and lies, literature and violence, ecologies and natural history.

Since 2014 she has been visiting public and private collections, libraries and archives globally for Pulp: A Short Biography of the Banished Book, a decade-long film, book and visual art project about the history of book destruction. As an artist in residence at CCA, Gillman Barracks, Singapore, she released her first book from the project in January 2016. It was shortlisted for the biennial Singapore Literature Prize 2018 (non-fiction).

The second book from the series won the Singapore Literature Prize (nonfiction) in 2020. The first instalment of the project Written in the Margins, won the Juror's Choice Award at the APB Signature Art Prize 2018.

About Te Tuhi

Te Tuhi is a leading platform for contemporary art in Aotearoa New Zealand, with a programme consciously and continually shaped towards rigorous, adventurous and socially engaged artistic experimentation. Based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Te Tuhi’s primary focus is on commissioning both national and international artists to make new work by creating stimulating contexts for the artists to respond to and work within. Te Tuhi offers artists and curators opportunities through development programmes, studios, awards, residencies and internships both in New Zealand and overseas. Alongside the gallery in Pakuranga, Te Tuhi runs Parnell Studios and Project Space on the platform of Parnell Train Station and operates O Wairoa Marae in Howick.

Across multiple venues, Te Tuhi delivers a strong programme of community engagement, including public events integrated into its exhibition programmes, and provides formative art experiences for schools, young people, community groups and people of all backgrounds and ages. Te Tuhi runs Arts Out East, the community arts brokering for the Howick Local Board area in East Auckland, and Te Tuhi Café, Aotearoa’s first training café for people with intellectual disabilities.Te Tuhi is an independent charitable trust supported by Auckland Council and the Contemporary Art Foundation.

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