Huangshi Chinese Garden
Sunday 27 September, 2 pm
The full pdf of this newsletter is available at: NZCFSNelsonSeptember2015.pdf
You and your family and friends are invited to the Chinese Garden to celebrate the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival in place of our normal Friday evening meeting.
This year, New Zealand’s spring full moon is the same day as the beginning of daylight saving and coincides exactly with this Chinese festival, traditionally celebrated with mooncakes.
Chinese teas will be served along with festival cookies from 2 pm. The garden is in spring mode and a fine day has been ordered.
However, if it is raining on the day, the event will be cancelled. If you are doubtful about the weather, please call Christine (538 0344) or Sally (546 6637) or Kathy (547 9940) before 1pm.
WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR RAFE PROJECT?
The Nelson-Huangshi Art Exchange Project became even more exciting and innovative than the original concept, due to its combination with China Week, New Zealand Chinese Language Week, and delegations to and from Huangshi.
In July 2014, Nelson Branch received a grant of up to $5,500 from the Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange Fund (RAFE). This fund was established in 2012 with a donation from the Chinese Peoples’ Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) to promote educational, cultural and art exchanges honouring the legacy of Rewi Alley and 60 years of friendship between China and New Zealand.
Nelson’s concept was to connect groups of school students in Nelson with groups of their peers in our sister city, Huangshi, and to set up an exchange exhibition of artwork on the theme of friendship. In this way, the friendly exchange between people in Nelson and Huangshi would be extended to the new generation of students and teachers through the exchange of their personal art and stories. In the wider sense, the plan was consistent with the goals and objectives of NZCFS.
Connecting the schools and students took many months and proposed exhibition dates had to be extended. In March, 2015, Nelson City Council accepted a challenge from Consul General Jin Zhijian to sponsor a China Week in Nelson. The second week in September was proposed so as to combine with NZ-Chinese Language Week, and the NCC offered the Refinery ArtSpace for the exhibition. Later on there were more happy additions: a group of children and teachers from a participating school, Guang Chang Lu Primary, came to Nelson for a few days with their contributions, plus 12 artist/performers from Huangshi, here for China Week, also made their contributions to events connected with our project.
The project came in under budget at less than $5,000, as it was recommended we print the Huangshi art on paper rather than canvas as originally planned. We were thus able to contribute towards hosting costs for the group of Sister City performers, who added so much value to the community impact of promotion of China friendship.
So many people contributed to the final successful exhibition outcomes. Thanks are due to Jeanette Jones and Lori Brudvik Lindner who were there with President Christine from the start, over a year ago, making arrangements with Nelson College for Girls, Maitai School and St Joseph’s. In Huangshi, Xu Zugui, Sucy Sun, Maggie Chen, Sunny Fang and Lu Dan were our contacts with Guang Chang Lu, the Social Welfare Institute, and #3 Middle School. Jane and Ian Lister were in Hunagshi in May and Jane took photographs of art in the three schools to bring back for printing here. The Markland’s work with the Guang Chang Lu delegation added significantly to the exhibition also. Nelson’s two Confucius Institute Mandarin Language Assistants, Gina and Emma, made lovely translations of the gallery notices so that Chinese language was in first place throughout the gallery. NZCFS members gave generous help with hanging the exhibition and providing gallery guidance. Special thanks go to Jifang Black for helpful advice, to Ferry and Aukje for display film for the gallery and photography for sending to Huangshi, and to Bruce Ward for projection expertise, and daily visits to ensure projection and copious amounts of blu-tac were functioning properly. Lloyd Harwood of Arts Nelson, and Gallery Manager, Ann Bernstein, went beyond the brief in helpfulness and cooperation throughout the three weeks we inhabited their space.
Our gratitude is due to Nelson’s participating schools, and to the teachers who were intimately involved: Anna Heinz at Nelson College for Girls, Bridgit Hindmarsh at St Joseph’s and Judy Keylock at Maitai. They caught the vision, inspired their students, and enabled the youthful artists to contribute to an innovative community project.
All in all, NZCFS Nelson reached, and even surpassed, its objectives. We did what we set out to do which was to promote knowledge and understanding of China and friendship with Chinese people within our community and especially with our children. Our Schools Art Exchange Project, combined with China Week in Nelson, has sent out many ripples to expand the profile of NZCFS into the future.
~ Christine Ward, Project Director