OTHER [ōtepoti chinese] Alice Canton
Blue Oyster is pleased to present OTHER [ōtepoti chinese], an ongoing interdisciplinary project by theatre-artist, Alice Canton. The work investigates the experiences of Chinese people in Ōtepoti, asking what it means to be Chinese—ethnically, culturally and socially—here and now. The exhibition includes a new video work, filmed on location in and around the city, capturing the hyper in/visibility of the community against the backdrop of the contemporary urban landscape in Ōtepoti. This exhibition is accompanied by a reading room, a reading list can be found here.
OTHER [ōtepoti chinese] forms part of a wider performance project, OTHER [chinese], creating space for multiple voices to arise: because being Chinese, and being Chinese in Aotearoa, is not one, singular thing. The project includes storytelling workshops for participants to connect to other identities within the Chinese diaspora born here and across the Asia-Pacific region. Stories are woven into a live, documentary theatre production in which audiences access up to a hundred volunteer participants sharing the rich continuum of perspectives held by Chinese in Aotearoa—placing ‘old migrants’ (those whose ancestral line trace back to the goldmines) alongside ‘new migrants’ (those recently moved to New Zealand).
Alice Canton is an award-winning theatre-artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau, and a graduate of Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School (2012) and University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts (2008). Her collective practice, White_mess, is an open structure concerned with developing interdisciplinary performance practice and live experiences for audiences, ranging from large-scale community engagement projects to site-specific activation and improvisation. Recent works include: Children Talk About (Auckland Arts Festival, 2018); OTHER [chinese] (2017); Dance Like Everybody’s Watching (Auckland Theatre Company, 2017); ORANGUTAN (2015); Do Not Touch The Exhibition (The Court Theatre, 2014); THRIFTSHOP (New Zealand Improv Festival, 2013).