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Mdm. Yang Pengbo, Wife of China's Ambassador to New Zealand, visited Dowse Art Museum

On August 18, Mdm. Yang Pengbo, wife of China’s Ambassador to New Zealand, was invited to visit Dowse Art Museum. Accompanied by Ms. Courtney Johnston, Director of Dowse Art Museum, Ms. Katrina Smit, Manager for Communication & Relationships and two Maori artists, Lillian and Veranoa, Mdm Yang visited the Maori art exhibition “Legacy: The Art of Rangi Hetet and Erenora Puketapu-Hetet ”. Attendees from the Chinese Embassy included Zheng Lin from the Cultural Section.

Ms. Courtney Johnston, warmly welcomed Mdm Yang and the guests from the Chinese Embassy. She noted that the Dowse Art Museum aims to promote the development of New Zealand’s creative arts, but also attaches great importance to international cultural exchanges. She is looking forward to having more opportunities to cooperate with Chinese artists.

The two Maori artists from the Hetet family, Lillian and Veranoa, introduced the Maori artworks on exhibition and the rich cultural connotations to the Chinese visitors. The exhibition displays nearly one hundred items of Maori artwork created by the Hetet family over several generations, including Maori carvings, feather capes, Maori traditional costumes and modern Maori artwork.

Veranoa also told the story with emotion about inheriting Maori cultural heritage over several generations in the Hetet family and the achievements made by the Maori art school founded by the family.

Mdm Yang Pengbo noted that during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand in 2014, the Governor General of New Zealand, Sir Jerry Mateparae, held a grand welcome ceremony for President Xi on the lawn in front of Government House. The unique Maori culture expressed by haka, hongi and Maori singing was very impressive. Today’s exhibition once again demonstrated the charm of Maori’s culture in New Zealand, and the admirable dedication of New Zealand artists pursuing artistic heritage and innovation. Mdm Yang noted that with the further development of China - New Zealand relations, bilateral cultural and artistic exchanges continue to advance. Art museums are important platforms for cultural exchanges and mutual learning. She hopes that the Dowse Art Museum can continue to play an active role in the promotion of cultural exchanges, enhancing mutual understanding and deepen friendship between China and New Zealand.

Founded in 1971 in Lower Hutt, the Dowse Art Museum is a municipal art gallery, and is also one of the most representative public art galleries in New Zealand. The Dowse Art Museum presents a diverse programme of more than 20 exhibitions per year across 11 gallery spaces. It is dedicated to promoting long-term cultural creativity and innovations accompanied by engaging community events and educational programmes to encourage more New Zealanders to participate in cultural and artistic activities.

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