Otago Polytechnic

Dunedin is inspiring an international audience with the exhibition ‘Anything Could Happen’ at the prestigious Yu Gallery in Shanghai.

Forty-five works by artists and designers with links to Dunedin were chosen for the exhibition which opened on Monday 8 May.

Kai Tahu kaumātua, Edward Ellison, formally opened the exhibition with a whakamoemiti – blessing to the works and the gallery. Dunedin then gifted the Yu Garden a significant piece of pounamu carved with the Māori motif ‘Aukaha’ which is from the bindings of waka and symbolises the binding together of two sides.

Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull, attended the opening and says the exhibition builds on the success of the long standing sister city relationship between Dunedin and Shanghai.

“Not only does it highlight the strong cultural ties between the two cities, it also provides important economic opportunities for our creative, education and tourism sectors. This is an amazing opportunity to showcase Dunedin,” says Mr Cull.

"Our artists and designers are not constrained by convention. Dunedin has always nurtured an innovative and diverse cultural scene and what you see in the show is a snapshot of our city’s creative energy and style.”

Otago Polytechnic Director of Communications, Mike Waddell was also at the opening and says Otago Polytechnic is thrilled to be collaborating with Enterprise Dunedin and the Dunedin City Council on this project. Otago Polytechnic’s Professor Margo Barton and Senior Lecturer Jane Malthus both curated the exhibition alongside the City Council’s Antony Deaker.

“The event offers a world class experience for the ten students and two staff who’ve made a significant contribution to the design and layout. I am immensely proud of their achievement here in Shanghai,” he says.

“Also, many of our lecturers and graduates from the School of Design and the Dunedin School of Art were chosen to exhibit. This event can only continue to grow the sister city relationship and the relationship with Otago Polytechnic,” he says.

New Zealand Consul General to Shanghai, Guergana Germanoff, (who attended Otago Girls’ High School) spoke at the opening, along with officials from Shanghai, Deputy District Mayor of Huangpu District, Dr Chao Kejian, and Deputy Director-General of Shanghai Municipal Foreign Affairs Office Mr Liu Guangyong.

The Yu Gallery is part of the prestigious Yu Yuan (gardens) which are more than 400 years old and attract six million people every year.

‘Anything Could Happen’ runs from May 8 to June 9 and has exclusive use of the gallery.

Photo: Otago Polytechnic Professor, Margo Barton, Dunedin City Council Ara Toi project coordinator, Antony Deaker and Otago Polytechnic Senior Lecturer, Jane Malthus.

Read about Design at Otago Polytechnic and Art at the Dunedin School of Art.

Read about this event in the Otago Daily Times.

Expiry: 10 Jun 2017