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21 March 2002 —
21 April 2002

Haihui Wang:
Family Tree

Haihui Wang, Family Tree, 2002 (installation view). Oil on canvas.


Artist’s statement -

When I met some Kiwi friends, they always asked me: ‘where do you come from?’ Because my skin color and black hair told them - I am different from them.

I always ask myself: ‘where do I come from, who am I and where am I going?’ I think the question involves not only racial and dislocation issues, but a big theme of the human being.

In my painting, the tools of expression are thus Western, but the issues which stimulated me are both Western and Eastern, because most of my paintings deal with the Chinese people, and the individuals who live in New Zealand. I try using traditional paintings skills to present modern people. Art is a social reflection, and the soul of my painting is based on my research and understanding of human beings. Painting is a ‘way of seeing’, a way of opening up such a dialogue.

Family Tree shows the form of a tree with four generations. It reflects how a special family grew up and developed between Chinese and New Zealand identities. In these paintings I found a rich and meaningful artistic language to communicate my ideas and personal experience of cultural crossing in the new millenium.

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