Artist's Destiny is to Visit China

6 July 2011

Wellington artist Erica van Zon's trip to China may have been written 'in the stars'.

Erica, who is fascinated by Chinese astrology and popular culture, has been selected to go to Red Gate Gallery in Beijing for a two-month residency starting in August as part of the Wellington Asia Residency Exchange (WARE) programme.

Erica, an artist and Curator / Manager at Enjoy Public Art Gallery in Cuba Street, curated a successful horoscope exhibition at the gallery earlier this year.

"I am very excited about visiting Beijing," Erica says. "This is a rare opportunity for me to work full-time as an artist in a new city with a rich history and many resources to discover. This will be my first experience of Asia and it will inform my art practice for years to come."

Erica plans to use the residency to develop 'The Chinese Zodiac Show', a curatorial project planned for Enjoy Gallery in 2012. It will feature 12 international and New Zealand-based artists. "I hope to connect with a range of Chinese and international artists at Red Gate and to invite them to make new work for this exhibition."

Monica Turner, Project Officer Culture for Asia New Zealand Foundation, says: "We were excited by Erica's proposal to investigate Chinese popular culture through her own diverse art practice, which includes craft, ceramics, painting and mixed media works. Erica's enthusiasm to experience a new culture and her strong exhibition history also makes her the perfect choice for us."

Wellington City Council Arts and Culture Portfolio Leader, Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer, is delighted for Erica. "Erica has made an outstanding contribution to Wellington as an artist and curator. I am excited to see what will come of her time in Beijing," he says.

Erica will receive funding for travel, accommodation, studio and some exhibition materials towards her 'open studio' at the end of her Red Gate residency.

WARE is an artist's residency programme between Wellington and its sister cities in Asia - Beijing, Xiamen and Sakai. Asia:NZ and Wellington City Council are partners in running the exchange.