Artist unknown, Guest Welcoming Pine. Te Hotu Manawa Marae, Palmerston North. Photo by Tessa Ma'auga

Enhancing mana through visual art

TESSA MA’AUGA | Mana is a significant concept in Aotearoa and the Pacific region. It has often been translated as ‘power’, ‘prestige’, and ‘authority’. Unlike the word ‘power’ though, mana as a concept has more quickly evolved away from associations with ‘domination’, ‘manipulation’ and ‘control’…

Renee Liang, producer of 等凳 - The Chairs, at Te Pou Theatre. Photo by Bob Scott Photography

In Conversation with Renee Liang and Hweiling Ow

AMY WENG | What can a farcical relationship between a man and a woman teach us about language, loss and living? This winter, Eugène Ionesco’s Les Chaises (The Chairs), has been adapted by four Aotearoa theatremakers into Pākeha English, Te Reo Māori, Samoan and Cantonese. Editor Amy Weng caught up with the Cantonese season producer Renee Liang, and director Hweiling Ow, to reflect on the importance of language on and off the stage…

The Red Gateway. Photo by Austin Tseng

On the Ancestor’s Trail

AUSTIN TSENG | An account of the New Zealand Chinese Association’s (NZCA) SS Ventnor Tour, 7-9 April 2018. In the early 20th century, the lives of Chinese migrants in New Zealand were often fraught with difficulty. Not only did they have to deal with the struggles of making a living in a new land, but also significant…

Asian food

In search of real Asian fusion

SHARON LAM | In this next instalment dedicated to food, writer and architectural graduate Sharon Lam reflects on the nature of fusion food and asks whether an Asian New Zealand fusion cuisine exists.

A review of Roots [根] presented by Proudly Asian Theatre

AMY WENG | As part of the Auckland Fringe Festival, Proudly Asian Theatre presents the New Zealand premier of Roots [根], in association with Auckland Lantern Festival. Amy Weng caught the show at Uxbridge in Howick. Roots [根] will also play at Q Theatre from 1 – 3 March 2018…

Miss Changy's breakfast event, part of Satellites 2017, served up Kaya toast, Kopi and eggs to the hungry masses. Photo by Julie Zhu

In Conversation with Ruby White aka Miss Changy

AMY WENG | Ruby White will be familiar to many as the creative mastermind behind Miss Changy, a food-as-art project that has recently brought some of the most exciting pop-up culinary experiences in Tāmaki Auckland. Amy Weng spoke to White about her practice, subverting the Ford assembly line, and the art and politics of food…

The cast of The Mooncake and the Kumara. Photo by Julie Zhu

New Zealand Chinese Performing Arts: A Passing of the Torch

AUSTIN TSENG | The year thus far has been quite a treat for connoisseurs of stage productions. This output has been notable for the coverage of a much-neglected history. The releases of opera The Bone Feeder, play The Mooncake and the Kumara and “large-scale documentary theatre” piece OTHER [chinese] have given us a compelling trifecta of interpretations of the Chinese experience in Aotearoa…

Photographs of market gardens exhibited at Gum Sarn, Depot Artspace. Photo by Margaux Wong

Constant Conversations: Reflecting on Gum Sarn

MARGAUX WONG | This exhibition, like all things, began with a conversation. Late last year, after one of my family’s frequent visits to my workplace – they really come to see the dog Mia, not me – a conversation emerged about curating an exhibition on New Zealand Chinese. As our exchange strayed to food, as almost all of my conversations do, we began ruminating on the contributions the Chinese had made to this country…

Vanessa Crofskey, performance artist and spoken word poet, at Noodle House on Great North Road. Photo by Megan Blennerhassett

Food to nourish the soul at Tasting Words

On your left as you come up Great North Rd, just before Titirangi Rd going west, there is a cluster of restaurants serving great food – noodle houses, dumpling joints, a kebab shop. There’s also a dairy, a barbers, a vape store, a locksmith, Woottons Auto Accessories and two kinds of tool stores. This strip…

At a rehearsal of OTHER [Chinese]. Photo by Julie Zhu

The voices of OTHER [Chinese]

OTHER [Chinese] isn’t your standard night out at the theatre. Directed by Alice Canton, and developed over the course of a year in consultation with individuals from various Chinese communities, OTHER [Chinese] is a work of documentary theatre that explores what it is to be Chinese in Auckland in the here and now. Stories that…