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2016 National Contemporary Art Award

3 September - 4 December 2016

Free entry

“Art is defined as a form of intensification of ta - time, and reconstitution of va - space, and involves transformation from a condition of chaos to a state of order through sustained rhythmic production of symmetry, harmony and, more importantly, beauty."

Dr Hufunga Okusitino Mahina – Ta-Va Theory

Artists bravely place their work under our scrutiny. In this exhibition, each artist shares something they have never exhibited before. By looking at and responding in some way to these artworks, you change from ‘stranger’ to ‘participant’.

This is the 17th year of the National Contemporary Art Award (NCAA) which launched in 2000. This year’s award is judged by Misal Adnan Yildiz and managed by Waikato Museum. The winner of the 2016 National Contemporary Art Award received S20,000 from the major sponsors, Chow Hill and Tompkins Wake.

This year the three Merit Award winners each received $1,000 from the Friends of Waikato Museum, Random Art Group and David’s Emporium.

ArtZone magazine is the sponsor of the People's Choice Award. 

Image: Good Kisser, Sorawit Songsataya, 2016 National Contemporary Art Award winner.


First Prize

Good Kisser, Sorawit Songsataya 

Merit Awards

Push Me Pull You, Cachemaille and Bowmast

Fountain is a Copy?, Ella Sutherland and Matthew Galloway 

Pārekereke – Seedbed, Elliot Collins 

People's Choice

Nest Number Four, Justin Spiers

Read the media release announcing the winners here. 

View the exhibition catalogue here.


The finalists for the 2016 National Contemporary Art Award are:

  1. Push Me Pull You - Cachemaille and Bowmast, Motueka               
  2. The Formation of Jupiter - Yoon Tae Kim, Auckland         
  3. Radiance and Colour - Oliver King, Warkworth
  4. Watchers (George Bolt Memorial Drive) - Brendon Sellar, Auckland         
  5. To a willing person, injury is not done - Douglas Stichbury, USA 
  6. LITEWEIGHT (The Holy Trinity Of Muscle or Last Minute Tips For 11th Hour Abs) - Gary Mackay, Auckland
  7. Good Kisser - Sorawit Songsataya, Auckland
  8. The Essence of Art- Part 1 - Tony Nicholls, Hamilton
  9. A Brighter Future - Tiger Murdoch, Auckland      
  10. Envelope - Matt Arbuckle, Auckland       
  11. Sacred Valley - Mark Bolland, Dunedin
  12. Random - Susan Mabin, Hastings
  13. Phablet 3.0 - Charlotte Imogen Benoit, Auckland              
  14. Departures - D Milton Browne, Dunedin
  15. Drugs on Toast - Justin Spiers, Dunedin
  16. Nest Number Four - Justin Spiers, Dunedin
  17. An Informal Evening - Daegan Wells, Christchurch
  18. A Booth with Ocean Views (Self Portrait) - Christopher Ulutupu, Wellington
  19. Fountain is a Copy? - Ella Sutherland and Matthew Galloway, Dunedin  
  20. Monochronic - Clara Wells, Hamilton
  21. Moon Deed Set in Concrete - Wendelien Bakker, Auckland
  22. Paramount - Alex Miln, Tauranga
  23. Rosa Drive -In - Alex Miln, Tauranga
  24. The Oil Fields - John G Johnston, Auckland
  25. The Briefcase - Jason McCormick, Nelson
  26. Maquette for a Monument to Global Capitalism and the Free World - Matt Ellwood, Auckland
  27. Floor Work I - Rohan Hartley Mills, Oratia
  28. It Could Not Possibly Happen Here, Could It? - Peter McLaren, Dunedin
  29. Four Colours Only - Peter McLaren, Dunedin      
  30. Blind:HI-FI - Jonathan Organ and Jessica Pearless, Auckland
  31. Liberte - Paul Handley, Melbourne
  32. The Order of Things - Mike Ting, Wellington
  33. Pillar of Cloud - Brit Bunkley, Whanganui
  34. Pārekereke – Seedbed - Elliot Collins, Auckland



Find out about our art education programme here.



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Related events

National Contemporary Art Award Floor Talk - Peter Dornauf. Find out more


Misal Adnan Yildiz Artspace
Image: 2016 National Contemporary Art Award judge Misal Adnan Yildiz.

Celebrated international curator Misal Adnan Yildiz will judge the National Contemporary Award this year.

Misal Adnan Yildiz has been the Director of Artspace NZ since November 2014. 
Previously, he was the artistic director of Künstlerhaus Stuttgart between 2011 and 2014, one of curatorial collaborators of Fulya Erdemci for the 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013), and manifested A History of Inspiration as part of Nouvelle Vagues, Summer programme 2013 at Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

Yildiz was a participant of Curatorlab/Konstfack between 2006 and 2008, and collaborated with IASPIS, both in Stockholm. He produced significant number of solo exhibitions with Slavs and Tatars, Cevdet Erek, Ahmet Ögüt, and Hito Steyerl, among others as well as some group shows after his proposals were being selected through open calls or closed competitions: There is no audience at Montehermoso, in Spain (2009), Time Challenger, HISK, Belgium (2009),Correct me if I am critical multi venue project in Berlin (2010). He was shortlisted for ICI Vision Award in 2012 and shared Curate Award 2014 (Fondazione Prada & Qatar Museum) with two others.

Major sponsors

65mm TW logo white5   

 Chow hill small


Merit Award sponsors

Friends of Waikato Museum, Random Art Group and David’s Emporium

People's Choice Award sponsor

ArtZone magazine