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30 May 2021 —
22 August 2021

They covered the house in stories

Xin Cheng, Eleanor Cooper touching the overflow of Pupuke Moana at Thorne Bay, 2020. Image courtesy of the artist.
George Watson, Maata and Katherine, 2020. Image courtesy of the artist.

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Taking its title from the novel The Stolen Bicycle by Taiwanese author and environmental activist Wu Ming Yi, They covered the house in stories is an exhibition that explores notions of land and place through the ecological and literary imagination. In Wu’s novel, the protagonist embarks on a search for his father’s stolen bicycle, bringing him into contact with Taiwan’s entangled histories of human and more-than-human displacement. Told through the linguistic polyphony of the region’s dialects, the novel surfaces inexplicable events and temporal dissonances that threaten the relationship between history and recollection.

Featuring newly commissioned works by Xin Cheng, Eleanor Cooper, Bridget Reweti and George Watson, They covered the house in stories embraces narrative multiplicity, examining sites of occupation to reveal the interdependence of Tāmaki’s waterway ecosystems and the lingering gaze of colonialism upon the landscape in Aotearoa and beyond.

About Amy Weng

Amy Weng is an art writer, editor and independent curator based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. She is the founder of Hainamana, a website dedicated to Asian New Zealand contemporary art and culture, and was the organiser of the inaugural Asian Aotearoa Artists Hui in 2017.