Art crosses language barrier

SIENA YATES
Last updated 05:00 19/12/2012
Museum
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ

ON SHOW: An exhibition of work by Wintec tutor Tim Croucher and Chinese artist Xu Ze explores the pair’s cultural differences.

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A Hamilton artist has teamed up with a Chinese counterpart to create a cross-cultural experience for visitors to Waikato Museum.

Wintec School of Media Arts tutor Tim Croucher and internationally renowned Chinese artist Xu Ze's The Wonder and Loss of Familiar Places is a collection of 22 paintings.

Croucher has been an artist for 27 years and also tutors in painting and sculpture at Wintec, while Xu Ze, a prominent Chinese artist, tutors at the School of Fine Arts at Chengdu University.

This exhibition is being held during the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China.

It is the culmination of two years' painting and research funded by the artists' institutes and the Asia New Zealand Foundation, and focuses on landscape perceptions and an exploration of both cultures, by incorporating parts of each culture into the paintings.

"Even though Xu Ze and I don't speak the same language, our paintings have been our dialogue," Mr Croucher said.

"They emphasise our different cultural perceptions and experiences of particular places, but they also reflect commonalities of cultural memory and metaphor." Waikato Museum curator, Leafa Wilson said the museum had not housed an exhibition of only paintings for some time, and it was even better that one of the painters was from Hamilton.

"The exhibition by Tim Croucher and Xu Ze is a conversation between two artists, two cultures and two landscapes.

"I find their collaboration refreshing and exciting because we can see how their visual conversation maps out in one of the country's best contemporary art spaces," she said.

The exhibition is free and runs until April 14. It will move to Chengdu later in the year. All artwork will be for sale.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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