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Otago Museum Presents Contemporary Traditions: Dunedin and Otaru Celebrate 30 Years

30 years on from the establishment of the sister city relationship between Dunedin and Otaru, Japan, the Otago Museum’s latest exhibition celebrates the longstanding bond between the two cities. Contemporary Traditions: Dunedin and Otaru Celebrate 30 Years brings a modern look at the traditions of the Ainu of northern Japan and the Kāi Tahu of southern New Zealand. Open through 28 November 2010.

Otago and Otaru Museums, as the sister cities’ museums, have formed an important relationship over the years, working together on the exchange of many exhibitions including Contemporary Traditions. The south of New Zealand, including Otago, is the traditional home of Kāi Tahu; the Ainu are the indigenous people of Northern Japan and around, including Hokkaido, the island where Otaru is located. Over 40 Ainu items have been brought together by the Otaru Museum, featuring distinctive bold motifs that have been passed from mother to daughter over generations. The selection includes clothing, tapestries and wood carving.

Kāi Tahu work in the exhibition includes a broad range of media, from the traditional resouces such as pounamu and wood, to more contemporary digital media works. Many use traditional materials in new ways, or reference traditional subject matter in new media. Having worked closely with Suzanne Ellison (with the support of the Museum’s Maori Advisory Committee) the variety of practices amongst contemporary Kāi Tahu artists is very evident.

Otago Museum and Discovery World

419 Great King Street
Dunedin 9016
New Zealand
Phone: +64 (0)3 474 7474
Fax: +64 (0)3 477 5993
E-mail: [email protected]

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