Erica spent two months at the Red Gate Gallery in Beijing as part of the Wellington Asia Residency Exchange (WARE). The exchange, jointly run by Wellington City Council and the Asia New Zealand Foundation, is designed to build links between Wellington and Asian creative sectors.
Erica is now curating the The Chinese Horoscope Show, an exhibition of work by 12 artists - from both New Zealand and overseas. Each artist has created a work in response to their star sign.
Erica says she was very aware of "the invisible force that is Chinese astrology" while in Beijing.
"There were symbols and live rabbits all over town, playground equipment themed to the zodiac and roadside fortune tellers," says Erica.
"Notions of believability, perceived personality types and personal revelation all come into play within the overarching theme of this exhibition."
Wellington artist Andrew Beck, who represents the sign of the rabbit, says the exhibition has opened him up to ideas and influences outside his usual scope.
"It's been valuable to be exposed to elements of Chinese visual culture, and helped bring about new developments and approaches to my practice as an artist."
In China, Erica says she came to realise the exhibition would only touch the tip of the iceberg.
"With such an abundance of information, the artists take a small aspect of their sign, expand upon it, work it into a twist on their practice, or create a work that uses their animal sign qualities or visual references."
Exhibiting artists include: Rabbit - Andrew Beck (WTG); Tiger - Chris Lundquist (AKL); Dragon - Jordan Brethauer and Rachael Grandon (USA); Snake - Ruth Thomas-Edmond (WTG); Horse - Tiffany Singh (AKL/IND); Goat - Liyen Chong (AKL); Monkey - Kate Woods (WTG); Rooster - Murray Hewitt (WTG); Dog - Eugenia Raskopoulos (AUS); Pig - Sam Mitchell (AKL); Rat - Caroline Anderson (AUS/NZ); Ox - Liao Sheng Xiang (CHN).
The exhibition opens on Wednesday 15 February at 6pm, with the Rat star-sign performance "What's Going To Happen ..." by Caroline Anderson and fellow rats starting at 6.15pm. All media invited to attend. The exhibition runs until 10 March.