Ho Sun Nian 賀新年
Artists: Kerry Ann Lee 鄺南燕, Stan Chan 仕丹 陳
Curator: Asian Events Trust
1 February – 23 May 2021
Ho Sun Nian is inspired by Wellington’s Chinese New Year celebrations and community. Wellington-based Chinese artists Stan Chan and Kerry Ann Lee respond to the annual celebration by bringing their unique perspectives and expressions of Chinese culture to Courtenay Place.
New Year is the most important date in the Chinese calendar. The exhibition’s title Ho Sun Nian refers to the Cantonese phrase ‘celebrating New Year’ and references the language of the Chinese community who first settled in Wellington. The community’s new year festivals created an opportunity for new Chinese residents to bring their culture out into the streets of Wellington, and to feel more at home in New Zealand.
Chinese brush painter and calligrapher Stan Chan has been involved with the new year festival for 20 years. In Ho Sun Nian, his Chinese brush paintings capture moments from photographs of Wellington’s Chinese New Year celebrations in years gone by – a Chinese lion parading through the streets, an East meets West fashion show from the 1980s. Chan’s expressive paintings portray the lively atmosphere of the cultural events.
Kerry Ann Lee shows a personal perspective of Chinese culture and celebrations. Her work has been described as exploring cultural intersections in the space between private moments and public locations. Well known for her hand-made and digital collages, Lee’s new work in the light boxes also overlays a playful ‘pop’ aesthetic to scenes of remembrance and celebration. Fascinated by the role food and ritual plays in bringing communities together, Lee shows Cantonese Chinese placemaking in all its guises from family meals, restaurants and local sites of significance.
Ho Sun Nian is part of the 20th anniversary of Chinese New Year festival celebrations, 13-14 February 2021.
About the artists
Stan Chan has practised and taught traditional Chinese brush painting and calligraphy, as well as western oil and watercolour techniques from his studio inkLink in Left Bank, Cuba Mall, Wellington since 2000. Chan studied art in Hong Kong and has participated in both group and solo exhibitions throughout New Zealand.
Kerry Ann Lee is a visual artist, designer, and scholar from Te Whanganui-a-tara of Seypi Cantonese Chinese descent. Lee has undertaken international residencies in China, Taiwan, US, Mexico and Australia and exhibits regularly in New Zealand and overseas. Exhibitions include, Fruits in the Backwater at Pātaka Art + Museum (2017) and Return to Skyland (2018), an installation within the Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality exhibition at Te Papa.