• News
  • Sep 29, 2020

New Zealand’s Arts Foundation Announces 2020 Laureates

YUKI KIHARA is the recipient of the inaugural My Art Visual Arts Award, a 2020

On September 24, The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi announced the seven recipients of the 2020 Arts Foundation Laureate Award, which recognizes the achievements of New Zealand artists across multiple categories. Each laureate was awarded NZD 25,000 (USD 16,340). 

Interdisciplinary artist and independent curator Yuki Kihara won the inaugural My Art Visual Arts Award, established with nonprofit organization My ART. Kihara’s multimedia works range from video installations to performative art, and explore culture, gender, and the intersectional relationships between identity, decolonization, and environmental issues. Her work has been exhibited extensively in New Zealand and internationally, including a solo exhibition in 2008 at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is New Zealand’s representative artist for the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. 

The Theresa Gattung Female Arts Practitioners Award was conferred to poet, writer, and performer Tusiata Avia MNZM, whose poetry was praised for its contribution to New Zealand literature. Singer and composer Ariana Tikao won the Jillian Friedlander Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Award for Māori and Pasifika creatives, recognized for her waiata examining her Kāi Tahu ancestry. South Auckland-based arts collective FAFSWAG received the award for interdisciplinary arts. Established in 2013, the group’s innovative art practice is dedicated to amplifying queer and Indigenous voices within creative industries.

Other recipients include choreographer and director Moss Te Ururangi Patterson who received the Burr/Tatham Trust Award, musician and author Shayne Carter who was recognized with the award for music and literature, and actor, director, and producer Ahilan Karunaharan who received the Sir Roger Hall Theatre Award. 

The 2020 Laureate recipients were selected from a pool of nominations made by previous selection panels. The 2020 panel, appointed by the Foundation’s trustees, included Ioana Gordon-Smith, writer and curator at the Pātaka Art + Museum in Porirua; Murray Lynch, director at the Auckland Theatre Company; Clarissa Dunn, Radio New Zealand concert presenter and opera singer; academic Jon Bywater; Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, curator, researcher, and activist; author Rachael King; Daniel Belton, a dance-film maker and a 2015 Laureate. 

Founded in 1998, The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi, backed by philanthropists, aims to support New Zealand artists with financial gifts. The annual Laureate awards was established in 2000.

Stephanie Siu is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

To read more of ArtAsiaPacific’s articles, visit our Digital Library.

Back to News