By Amanda Adams: 19th July – 10th August 2009
On a blustery Sunday afternoon in Parnell, Aucklands trendy art district, there was an explosion of energy and colour at the opening of Liklik Luk Save Art Show at the Aesthete Gallery.
A smaller version of the national art show Luk Save, held every September at the Royal Papua Yacht Club, Liklik Luk Save brought seven artists work, on invitation, to the heart of New Zealand’s fine art trade with a very genuine and warm welcome.
Pierre Peeters, owner of Aesthete Gallery, has built a reputation over many years for identifying and promoting New Zealand’s up and coming contemporary artists. He is renowned for embracing challenging and vibrant work and connecting artists with key private collectors and the general public. His invitation to Papua New Guinea’s finest was in keeping with his bold and determined approach to take the best of contemporary art to a wider audience. Peeters commented that; “for a country that has had limited exposure to the art world they have a lot to offer and it is worthy of being exhibited in high-end international art centers. I am pleased to see New Zealand’s private individual collectors embrace the art from our Pacific Rim cousins”.
Gickmai Kundun’s stunning sculpture work that graces our capital city is represented with artists Tom Deko, Martin Morubabuna, Alexander Mebri, Ratoos Haoapa Gary and Heso Kiwi being featured with two large canvasses from the late Philip Yobale collection. The work and the event were very well received both critically and commercially.
Giles Peterson, curator and lecturer in Pacific Art and Design at the Whitecliffe College of Art & Design in Auckland, opened the show, “as someone who is familiar with contemporary PNG art I am blown away by the quality of work here today”. He went on to emphasise “this exhibition has stood it’s ground on an international basis and it is very exciting and refreshing to see such an exhibition in New Zealand”.
With a surprisingly strong turnout the opening broke records not just in terms of viewers but sales. The key piece in demand turned out to be a very strong canvas from Ratoos Haoapa Gary, ‘Lo Moro’ with Gickmai Kundun and Alexander Mebri also selling on opening night. There have been steady sales since with all pieces going to established private collectors from the New Zealand market. This is particularly significant for our artists as it dramatically opens the international market for their work bringing much needed financial support and recognition to their professionalism.
The show is open until 10th August and it is a ‘must see’ for anyone with an interest in fine art or PNG connections.
There are negotiations in place for a solo show in 2010 for one of the featured artists and The Aesthete is committed to a further Papua New Guinea Contemporary group show 2011.
For further information please contact the PNG co-ordinator, Amanda Adams on e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or 05 64 210 734075 til 2nd August or 325 4199 thereafter.