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Carving Water, Painting Voice

02 Nov 2018 - 01 Mar 2019


Friday 2 November 2018, 10.00am - Friday 1 March 2019, 5.00pm


NZ Maritime Museum, corner of Quay St and Hobson St, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland

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Sculpture, music, poetry and topology creatively collide in Carving Water, Painting Voice – an installation by Kazu Nakagawa with sonic composition by Helen Bowater.

Conceived by Kazu Nakagawa, Carving Water, Painting Voice explores the themes of human migration and identity: “our journeys carve water, our languages paint voices”.

“Homesickness is a longing for belonging, the invisible pull – like gravity – of a place against the current of human migration and ongoing journeys. Such uncountable conflicts keep our world never the same,” says Kazu Nakagawa.

Kazu Nakagawa’s exquisite sculpture – a remodelled wooden Niuean outrigger canoe and 18 carved paddles, is accompanied by a richly textured composition created by Helen Bowater. Visitors can listen to the voices of more than 50 individuals, many of whom are migrants, sing, speak and narrate in their native language.

“It speaks – in the native tongues of migrants – of their myriad emotions, hardships, dislocations and dreams.” Helen Bowater

Alongside the sculptural artwork, a series of 'data-maps' created by designer Andrew Caldwell will be showcased. Through the analysis of data linked to DNA, navigation, art, food and trade, Caldwell renders the story of migration into topological maps that shed light on our long journey out of Africa and ultimately to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Themes of voyaging and migration are further explored through a display of poems written by Riemke Ensing and which include a work that considers the making process undertaken by Kazu Nakagawa.

The exhibition runs until the end of March and there will public programmes throughout this time.