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International Research Project on Display at Waikato Museum

14 December 2012

Hamilton artist and Wintec School of Media Arts tutor Tim Croucher has teamed up with internationally renowned Chinese artist Xu Ze to bring a unique cross-cultural experience to Waikato Museum visitors from this Saturday.

The collaborative project - The Wonder and Loss of Familiar Places – is a product of two years’ painting and research work funded by Wintec, Chengdu University in China and the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

The exhibition is made up of 22 works of art and a catalogue which explore different cultural perceptions of landscape, while engaging in a cross-cultural dialogue between the artists. Though separated by language, distance and life experiences, each artist has incorporated a part of the other’s culture in the paintings.

Croucher says: "Even though Xu Ze and I don’t speak the same language, our paintings have been our dialogue. They emphasise our different cultural perceptions and experiences of particular places, but they also reflect commonalities of cultural memory and metaphor.

"The images come from a mixture of photographs, memories and personal experiences."

An artist of 27 years, Tim has spent most of that time teaching painting and sculpture to Wintec students.

"As an artist, I’m delighted to have my work on show in the Waikato, but this particular project dovetails beautifully into my role as a teacher.

"It will be significant to not only artists, but students, teachers and anyone that has engaged in cross cultural exchange."

Waikato Museum Curator, Leafa Wilson says: "It has been quite some time since Waikato Museum has mounted an exhibition comprised solely of paintings, and it's made more significant that one of the painters is our very own noted artist Tim Croucher.

"The exhibition by Tim Croucher and Xu Ze is a conversation between two artists, two cultures and two landscapes. I find their collaboration refreshing and exciting because we can see how their visual conversation maps out in one of the country's best contemporary art spaces."

Xu Ze is a prominent Chinese artist originally from Chengdu. He tutors in the School of Fine Arts at Chengdu University in China and has exhibited in the United States and South East Asia.

The exhibition will be open to the public from Saturday 15 December until Sunday 14 April 2013. All artwork will be for sale and entry is free. The exhibition will move to Chengdu in 2013.

The exhibition falls on the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China.


Waikato Museum is holding an opening celebration on Monday 17 December at 4pm. Media are welcome. Please advise Hannah White if you would like to attend. Both Xu Ze and Tim Croucher will be available for interviews and photos.

For more information, please contact Hannah White at or 021 418 252.


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