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Tuku Iho returns to China

Tuku Iho returns to China as part of China | New Zealand Year of Tourism, 2019.

Tuku Iho | Living Legacy will return to China this year – the place where it all began – with a special exhibition to mark the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism.

The exhibition enables connection between Māori culture and people, with host nations and cultures, and will be installed at the prestigious Powerstation of Art in Shanghai over the first two weeks of November.

Developed and led by the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI), based at Te Puia in Rotorua, Tuku Iho comprises a range of some 80 – 100 Māori artworks, presenting traditional art forms in a multifaceted way, with onsite wood, stone, bone and jade carving, as well as tā moko (traditional Māori tattoo).

Tuku Iho also incorporates an events programme including kapa haka, contemporary Māori singers, performers, a series of trade and tourism events, all alongside collaboration with Chinese artists, cultural groups and universities.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the Shanghai Tuku Iho exhibition during the opening ceremony for the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism over the weekend.

Ms Ardern says Tuku Iho will give Chinese people an important opportunity to learn about New Zealand culture, in the same way New Zealanders have a unique opportunity to learn about China through the magnificent Terracotta Warriors exhibition at Te Papa.

Te Puia general manager sales and marketing, Kiri Atikinson-Crean says it is a privilege to take the exhibition back to China – where it all began in 2013.

Since its first outing in China, Tuku Iho has now been hosted in seven major cities across the world including Malaysia, Chile, Brazil, Argentina and North America. Later this month, Tuku Iho will open in Hokkaido, Japan, and then in Tokyo in August as part of the leadup to the Rugby World Cup.

Ms Atkinson-Crean says it is timely to return to China six years later and demonstrate how Tuku Iho has evolved as it has travelled to other destinations around the world.

“The impacts of Tuku Iho go beyond cultural engagement and help support tourism promotion, the forging of economic partnerships and development, particularly in relation to economic trade.”

Ms Atkinson-Crean says The Powerstation of Art, in the Bund precinct in Shanghai is an incredible venue and Tuku Iho is thrilled to be hosted there.

“The venue has some 10 floors of galleries and leading exhibitions inside a rebuilt, repurposed powerstation on the river’s edge within the prestigious Bund precinct. It is stunning, central and an honour for us to be invited to exhibit there.

“We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to share Tuku Iho in China once again, and to be able to contribute to an important year for China and New Zealand – within the Year of Tourism.”

Ms Atkinson-Crean says, in addition to the significant investment by Te Puia | NZMACI and the New Zealand Government, Tuku Iho will involve key partners such as Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Auckland International Airport Limited, New Zealand Māori Tourism, individual NZ Inc agencies, Ngāi Tahu Tourism and Poutama Trust, among others.

As part of the exhibition, Tuku Iho will also take over café and retail spaces, presenting the best of what New Zealand food and beverage has to offer.

“Despite the geographic distance between New Zealand and China, there are many kindred threads between Māori and traditional Chinese values. These include the importance of our ancestors, of whānau (family) and manaakitanga (hospitality).”

Te Puia | NZMACI have a strong relationship with the Chinese market stretching back more than two decades. These relationships were highlighted further last week when the organisation hosted China’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Luo Shugang, to experience first-hand what Te Puia offers its more than 500,000 manuhiri (visitors) each year.

The China-New Zealand Year of Tourism is an opportunity for China and New Zealand to strengthen economic ties through tourism. China is New Zealand’s second biggest visitor market and tourism is a driver of economic growth.


Updated on 4th April 2019