As part of the celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand, the two exhibitions “Kura Pounamu: Treasured stone of Aotearoa New Zealand” and ”Brian Brake: Lens on China and New Zealand” open today at the National Museum of China in Beijing. They are very important exhibitions among the National Museum of China centennial celebrations and also significant achievement of the cultural exchanges between the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations 40 years ago.
Mr Dougal Austin, Maori curator answers question at the news release. (Photo/ Zhou Zijie)
Director Lu Zhangshen makes the welcome speech on the opening ceremony, he says, “treasured stone delivers the peace of mind and photos record the radical changes of history. I believe these two exhbitions will surely enhance the cooperation bewteen the National Museum of China and the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and open up a new prospect of cultural exchanges between the two national museums. They will exert important and deep influences on advancing China-New Zealand cultural exchanges and promoting the friendship of the two peoples.
Director Lu Zhangshen delivers a speech at the opening ceremony. (Photo/ Dong Qing)
“The exhibitions Brian Brake: Lens on China and Kura Pounamu: Treasured stone of Aotearoa New Zealand will deepen the cultural connections and understanding between our two nations,” says Michael Houlihan, Te Papa Chief Executive. “The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, like the National Museum of China, represents a voice of our nation. Today, Te Papa is privileged to share our cultural heritage with the Chinese people. Te Papa and our partner, the National Museum of China, began a relationship two years ago. Our common vision is to share art, history and culture between New Zealand and China.”
Kura Pounamu: Treasured stone of Aotearoa New Zealand explores the powerful role pounamu plays in affirming and building a variety of relationships – from the personal to the political – in showcasing traditional and contemporary pounamu taonga, including hei tiki (pendants in human form), adornments such as ear pendants and necklaces, tools for carving (adzes and chisels) and mere pounamu (nephrite weapons). The exhibition also explores the properties of this stone which is unique New Zealand.
Brian Brake: Lens on China and New Zealand contrasts the photographs that Brake took in 1960 for New Zealand: Gift of the Sea with his images of China, taken shortly before. These were periods of change for both countries. During his visits to China in 1957, and again in 1959, he captured the spectacles of mass parades in Beijing. In 1960, he toured New Zealand, the land of his birth, where the magnificent mountain scenery drew his eye. Placing the photographs together shows the huge differences between the two countries. But what the photographs also have in common is that they capture the same moment in time – a moment that is long past and entirely unknown by young people today.
The exhibitions were developed jointly by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the National Museum of China with the support of the New Zealand Government through Manatū Taonga – Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s Cultural Diplomacy International Programme. The exhibitions will finish on 1st February, 2013.
Both guests of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa and the National Museum of China attend the blessing ceremony from Maoris. (Photo/ Dong Qing)