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MIT arts student walks the walk

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

MIT arts student walks the walk with prize-winning Westfield work

Manukau School of Visual Arts (MSVA) student Natalie Lai Ming Wai’s experience as an international student who has journeyed to a new country to embrace new adventures and opportunity is reflected in her prize-winning work themed Walk with Us.

Natalie (23) is one of four Manukau Institute of Technology MSVA Year 4 students commissioned by Westfield New Zealand to produce work for the newly completed development at Westfield Manukau City in the heart of Manukau. Walk with Us will be acknowledged and unveiled in a celebratory event early next year.
“My art is about walking and I believe that life is a journey and I think walking represents that. The theme also focuses on protecting the environment as it aims to promote an eco-friendly lifestyle.
“Through my work at Westfield I wanted to illustrate this approach to life’s journey as well as provide something interactive for the shoppers as they walk beside my designs,” she says. “I was very excited to be selected by Westfield to show my work and am looking forward to the experience as there are so many diverse visitors who go to the shopping centre.”
Having come from Hong Kong to Auckland in 2001 to do sixth form locally, she then decided to pursue a lifelong passion and study art at MSVA. “It has been a good decision as MSVA gives its students the freedom to explore what they want to and we are able to learn different skills, as well as develop creatively in this environment.”
The young designer, who cites vault49 (a New York-based design studio) as a major influence, has already achieved local recognition she was selected by Pulp magazine last year as one of four finalists to show her work.
Looking ahead, Natalie aims to pursue a career in graphic design with the ultimate goal being to own her own studio with other talented peers.
Westfield New Zealand General Manager, Design, Rod Marler is pleased with the initiative. “Westfield is proud to be involved in this partnership with Manukau Institute of Technology's School of Visual Arts. Their students have produced art work of the highest calibre, which we are only too proud to have on display in our shopping centre.

"People from Manukau have a strong tradition of over achieving in their chosen fields, and we are proud to support the development of future leaders from the region."


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