Auckland’s most exciting contemporary Asian artists are taking over the isthmusby Kate Richards
Help us find and write the stories Kiwis need to read
Satellites, a creative showcase by contemporary Asian artists, is popping up all over Auckland
Over the course of the next two months four creatives – Rosabel Tan, Hayden Eastmond-Mein, Vivienne Teo and Gabi Lardies – will facilitate a series of public events showcasing a range of contemporary Auckland-based, Asian artists. Satellites will bring multi-disciplinary, interactive artworks to some of Auckland’s more culturally underserviced suburbs, while affording the artists an opportunity to share a small slice of their heritage.
Here’s a rundown of what’s on:
The Mood Machine
Curated by Hera Lindsay Bird and Emma Ng, the mood machine reads how you’re feeling and then presents you with a piece of art and some writing to match. Works have been commissioned by some of New Zealand’s best up-and-coming talent including Ana Iti, Tayi Tibble, Jade Townsend and Xun Cao.
June-July, secret locations
Plant Magic X Satya
Swamy and Padmaja Akuthota opened the first branch of Satya South Indian Restaurant on Hobson St by the City Mission almost two decades ago. Originally conceived as a breakfast restaurant, offering traditional south Indian dosa and other chaat, it proved highly unpopular – the climate at the time was more for eggs benedict and flat whites than Indian street food. Unperturbed, the Akuthotas started serving their dosa for lunch and, almost immediately, the restaurant became a raving success. The couple became well known for their spicy-sour, fresher-than-was-common Indian dishes and being big supporters of local homeless in the area, giving out free food every day to those in need.
This ethos of giving followed the Akuthotas after the Hobson St lease ran out and they moved their business to Sandringham. Their well-publicised free Christmas meals still run annually. The food has remained largely unchanged, only now the couple own and operate three branches of their restaurant, and their son, the infamously hospitable Sammy, runs two scaled-back chai lounges in Sandringham and K’Rd respectively.
Sammy and vegetarian cook Gemma Walsh will bring Satya full circle for a one-off Plant Magic X Satya pop-up breakfast this month. The meal will be a fully immersive experience across three sittings, combining live music, food and props to bring the streets of India to Ponsonby. Walsh has been taught by Padmaja to make Satya’s traditional dosas but will add a modern spin to them, and Sammy will be offering an old-school dish of upma accompanied by hot masala chai. Tickets for the event cost $35 per person and include two dishes and two drinks as well as entertainment. Profits go towards helping Māngere-based social enterprise The Village Café put on a breakfast event of their own.
April 21, 9, 10 and 11am seatings
38 Pollen St, Grey Lynn
Book online at satellites.co.nz
Indonesian artist Rozana Lee invites participants of this three-hour workshop to bring a piece of fabric will special significance to them, and turn it into a wall hanging. Tickets cost $30 and cover all additional materials, plus guidance towards creating your own memory-evoking artwork.
April 22, Waikowhai Room, Mt Roskill
May 20, Te Tuhi Gallery, Pakuranga
Book online at satellites.co.nz
Hanna Shim, Michael McCabe and Adam Ben-Dror are building an enormous claw machine to be positioned in Northcote town centre for one month. Test your dexterity on it and, if you win, take home a handmade, life-sized plush creature.
Northcote town centre
Rina Chae has danced for queen Beyonce Knowles and Justin Bieber, among others. Back in New Zealand, she’s bringing a high-energy kid’s choreography class to two venues. Designed for children aged three and up, Chae will be teaching basic moves to K-Pop beats. K-Pop Kids is part of Auckland Live Pick & Mix, which runs over 10 weekends during winter.
30 June, Aotea Centre, central city
1 July, Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna
The Fortune Cookie Cart
What advice would you give your 14-year-old self? What’s one thing we should try to do every day? What’s one thing you want to tell your parents? Write a fortune; take a fortune at this little cart designed by architect Michael McCabe. The idea is simple – take some advice and then pay it forward.
April-May, various locations
See satellites.co.nz for cart locations and dates
Is there one rule for criticising Christianity and another for Islam?Read more
A ban on two Canadian far-right activists speaking at Auckland Council venues has ignited the debate over hate speech and freedom of expression.Read more
NZ director Pietra Brettkelly goes into the opulent world of Chinese designer Guo Pei in the beautifully shot documentary, Yellow is Forbidden.Read more
Rosie Bosworth looks at the risk to New Zealand's economy in a post-animal world of plant-based meat and dairy products.Read more