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Auckland Art Gallery reopens 13 June with major photography exhibition

Auckland Art Gallery reopens 13 June with major photography exhibition

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is reopening its doors to the public on 13 June with the launch of a new exhibition - Civilisation, Photography, Now.

Auckland Art Gallery reopens 13 June with major photography exhibition

This timely exhibition explores our hyper-connected, 21st-century lives through over 200 original photographs by 103 contemporary artists from across Europe, Asia, America, Australia and New Zealand.

Auckland Art Gallery director Kirsten Paisley says Civilisation, Photography, Now prompts us to “think about how, as a global community, we have lived, are living and wish to live in the future”.

“Examining the hyperconnected world that we live in today – a complex, interwoven system that we’ve watched shut down and change immeasurably under COVID-19 – this exhibition is more prescient than ever,” says Paisley.

“In the two months since we were forced to down tools on its installation so much has changed. Now, we bring new eyes to the exhibition’s more than 200 original photographic images from around the world, as we consider how the way we live, travel and connect impacts on us all.”

Zhang Xiao, Coastline No. 2, 2009 © Zhang Xiao

Civilisation, Photography, Now will be able to be viewed when the Gallery opens its doors at 10am Saturday 13 June, and will be on show until 18 October.

It will be exhibited alongside extended presentations of Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan (until 16 August) and contemporary art show, Honestly Speaking: The Word, the Body and the Internet (until 30 August).

“I’m pleased we are also able to extend those exhibitions that were prematurely closed due to lockdown, meaning that Gallery visitors will also be able to visit the exquisite international exhibition of historic Japanese art, Enchanted Worlds, and Honestly Speaking, our exhibition of New Zealand and international contemporary art,” says Paisley.

Kansetsusai Tsukimaro, Five Beauties, circa 1825, Private Collection.

Since New Zealand entered nationwide lockdown, Auckland Art Gallery’s building has been in its dormant state: one that was originally designed in preparation for natural disaster.

Sealed off from the outside world, the building’s internal climate control system has been maintaining optimal conditions to protect and preserve Auckland’s unique art collection with works covered by conservation material and kept in the dark with the lights off throughout the building.

“Since Level 3, our specialist teams have been gradually reentering the Gallery to complete installation of Civilisation, Photography, Now and to prepare all our spaces for reopening,” says Paisley.

“It has been a fascinating experience to watch the Gallery reawaken post-shutdown, but one that will only be complete when we have our community – our visitors – back in the building too.”

Alongside the physical Gallery experience, art lovers will be able to continue enjoying the Gallery online via digital media, including the immersive and recently launched virtual tour of Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan.

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