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Full Circle – Young Contemporary Asian New Zealand Art

April 29, 2023 @ 10:00 am May 31, 2023 @ 4:00 pm

Featured Image Thumbnail for Weilun Ha: Full Circle, an exhibition at DEPOT Artspace - May 2023.

Full Circle – Young Contemporary Asian New Zealand Art

29 April – 31 May 2023

Opening: Saturday 29 April, 2 – 4pm

Participating Artists

Weilun Ha

Eugene Yi, Lucas Deng, Warwick Zhang,

Rico Zhang, Gabriel Lei, William Gu, Maxwell Gu,

Cynthia Zhou, Marcus Wu, Stanley Ren, Isabella Wu

Full Circle is an exhibition that features works by both students and their teacher, Weilun Ha. The exhibition is held in the same gallery space where Weilun first started his career as a contemporary visual artist over ten years ago. Full Circle showcases paintings, screens, and sculptures created by two generations of artists who have spent most of their lives in Aotearoa but still have a desire to connect with their Asian roots through art.

Weilun, who was trained in the traditional Lingnan or Cantonese School style of painting, is an established contemporary artist and inspired arts educator. The participating children were encouraged to embrace ancient painting techniques alongside modern materials and pop cultural references that hold relevance in their lives.

The exhibition reflects each child’s unique way of expressing their interests. Weilun’s teaching combines respect and understanding of tradition with the idiosyncratic style that each aspiring artist brings to their work. Through this approach, the children were able to create works of art that showcase their individuality while still paying homage to traditional techniques.

Eugene Yi incorporates virtual gaming characters into each painting while Cynthia Zhou’s interest in nature and cartoons converge to seamless effect. Lucas Deng was born in the year of the snake, and he has an interest in tattoo aesthetics in his painting. William Gu has a keen interest in myth and legends of the dragon, and Gabriel Lei depicts Gundam robots with strong gestures and mark making. Warwick Zhang’s works explore architectural space while Maxwell Gu interprets plant and aquatic forms. Marcus Wu is inspired by the Star Wars films and Isabella Wu expresses her love for cats and stories woven through decorative surfaces. Rico Zhang has an interest in the ink techniques used to depict landscaping and mythology. Stanley Ren is interested in Japanese culture and mythology, his key interest is in symbology. Weilun Ha’s practice predominantly explores the fragility of life through painted objects that are embellished with traditional porcelain techniques.

Overall, Full Circle is a celebration of the intersection between tradition and modernity in art and highlights the ways in which artists can connect with their heritage while creating works that express their contemporary identities.

About Weilun Ha

Weilun Ha is a Vietnam-born Chinese New Zealander. He holds a Master’s of Architecture degree from the University of Auckland. In his art practice, Ha explores the ideas of personal stories in symbolic objects; diversity in cultural motifs; and gestures of fragility in life philosophies. The works complex interaction with Chinese porcelain patterns weaves historical references and significant moments behind his objects. The paintings embrace the richness of different cultures and create an intensity that is covered with interpretation and stories.

Weilun is Head of Department for Arts at Little Forest Art Studio in Albany, and has held teaching positions across Otago Polytechnic, Corban Estate Arts Centre and Lake House Arts Centre. 

His professional career as a visual artist was launched with an interactive solo exhibition at Depot Artspace in 2012, titled X-scape. Ha’s undeniable talent has been recognised with numerous national awards, including the Wallace Arts Trust Vermont Award (2016), Franking Arts Award (2016), Wallace Arts People’s Choice Award (2015), Estuary Arts People Choice Award (2015), and the National Contemporary Art Awards People’s Choice Award (2019). Ha has exhibited across galleries including Te Uru, Macolm Smith Gallery, Sanderson, NorthArt, Pātaka Art + Museum, and in 2018-9 his works travelled to the Museum Art Fair in Poland and the Beijing Biennale. He has been commissioned for large-scale temporary murals in public and private spaces including the South British Insurance Company Building in Auckland’s CBD, Auckland Airport, White Night (Parnell), the Chinese Lantern Festival, and Commercial Bay.

Weilun is represented by Solander Gallery (Wellington) and shows with Artfull Online and Sanderson Contemporary (Auckland).

28 Clarence Street, Devonport
Auckland, 0624 New Zealand
09-963 2331
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