Chinese gold rush link

In some respects, Cindy Huang’s new Queenstown exhibition is like a homecoming.

Rotorua-born Huang, a ceramic artist, discovered she has a Chinese ancestor who came to Otago during the 19th century gold rushes and found a personal affinity with the history of Chinese settlement in the Whakatipu.

In her new work, ‘A Thousand Lillies, Trade and Exchange’, which goes on display at Remarkables Park’s Te Atamira later this month, Huang’s explored the rich seam of Chinese gold mining within the Otago region, aiming to encourage conversations around local Chinese heritage, and increase audiences’ understanding around the historical Chinese connection to the region.

The exhibition displays hundreds of ceramic lillies, representing Chinese lillies said to flower annually at Round Hill — between Southland’s Riverton and Orepuki — which was the most southern Chinese settlement in the world between the 1870s and early 1900s.

here will also be vases full of locally-picked flowers — people can take a flower from a vase, but only if they replace it with another one.

‘A Thousand Lillies, Trade and Exchange’ runs at Te Atamira from January 28 till March 29.

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