The Auckland Art Fair begins this week and is set to showcase premier contemporary art from across the Pacific Rim. This annual event returns to The Cloud on Auckland’s Queen’s Wharf from tonight until Sunday 5 May.
The Auckland Art Fair is showcasing some of the best galleries and artists, photography, sculpture, and featured artists talks, guided tours, reading rooms, and eateries.
To ensure you make the most of your day at this year’s Art Fair, we spoke to local artist Yona Lee, who is showing sculptural work as part of her captivating site-specific steel installations at the Auckland Art Fair as part of Fine Arts, Sydney.
Have a read through some excellent Auckland tips and ideas of how you can make the most of the Fair and what the region has to offer during your stay.
John Reynolds a contemporary artist based in Ponsonby, finds his inspiration from simply walking around Auckland.
If you’re travelling to Auckland to stay for the night or weekend, look no further than boutique hotel Hotel Grand Windsor for the ultimate luxury accommodation in the heart of the city.
First things first, make sure you’ve purchased your tickets to the Auckland Art Fair here!
Located nearly directly across from The Cloud, Dirty Laundry is the perfect place to get your pre-Fair sustenance to get you through the morning. The Kumara and Corn Fritters truly are the perfect start to the day.
Peruse the Artwork
Visitors will have access to a number of pop-up bars and eateries which offer the perfect place to refresh amongst all the action. Grab a coffee from Coffee Supreme and a baked treat from Daily Bread to keep you well-fuelled.
Attend an Artist Talk
Gain insight into the world of art and their artists, with one of many exciting Artist Talks held during the Fair.
If the pop-up eateries at the Art Fair aren’t enough to keep the wolf from the door, don’t fret. You’re a stones throw away from a multitude of exceptional eateries. If you want to soak in the panoramic view of the harbour, look no further than Harbourside located in the neighbouring ferry terminal.
Buy a Souvenir
The Auckland Art Fair bookshop will feature a diverse selection of the very best art and photography books from New Zealand.
Once you’ve made the most of the Auckland Art Fair head to Yona Lee’s top pick, Moo Deung San, which she considers to be Auckland’s most authentic Korean restaurant.
We sat down with the Korean-born artist, Yona Lee to discuss the upcoming festival...
In your opinion, what is the highlight of the Auckland Art Fair?
I think the highlight of the Auckland Art Fair is the Samoa House Library Reading Room in the Ngātahi booth. It represents our respect for the importance of research in Aotearoa and the loss of the University of Auckland’s Fine Arts Library.
What do you think sets New Zealand art apart from the rest of the world?
How isolated New Zealand is from the rest of the world sets a unique position for New Zealand art. I think the distance helps to develop your own voice rather than influenced by the international art scene, allowing fresh eyes and perspectives.
Having lived in Auckland what do you think is a must-see for visitors while they’re here?
I’d suggest visiting the Te Tuhi Art Gallery in Pakuranga.
What do you think the perfect day out at the Art Fair entails?
I think the perfect day out at the Art Fair entails attending various talks, enjoying the various art booths, before grabbing a coffee and sitting outside in the sun on the waterfront.
What inspires your art? Do you mould your work to fit where you’re exhibiting or stick to a general theme?
My work is mostly site-specific which means the work is developed in response to the exhibited site, so I get a lot of inspiration from the space alone. I also get a lot of inspiration from daily life, observing how things are constructed and perceived.
Which artist are you most looking forward to seeing at this year’s Art Fair?
This is a very difficult question. I must say I look forward to seeing the Projects curated by Francis McWhannell and the China Import Direct, another curated show of works by younger artists from China.
What’s your favourite Auckland restaurant?
My favourite Auckland restaurant is Sen (Mt Eden). It’s the Vietnamese cuisine and was recommended by one of my Vietnamese students as the most authentic Vietnamese cuisine in Auckland. They have the best pho I think and try with the summer roll.
You were born in South Korea, do you think growing up has influenced your art and if so, how?
Definitely. It’s hard to say all in words as I’d go on and on but I think the most important part of all is how New Zealand allowed much freedom to follow my passion in music and art.
Where can we find the most authentic Korean cuisine in Auckland?
There are a number of really good Korean cuisines in Auckland and if I had to choose one, I’ll say Moo Deung San in Northcote. Their Korean bbq is really amazing.
Nikau Hindin, a multimedia artist whose main focus is revitalising the practice of creating aute, which is Māori bark cloth (tapa cloth). Her inspiration comes from the hikes and beauty of Te Henga / Bethells Beach.
Other Useful Information:
PRIVATE VIEW (BY INVITATION ONLY OR WITH A “PREMIER ART PASS”)
Wednesday 1 May 11am-5pm
Wednesday 1 May 5pm-9pm
Friday 3 May 5pm-9pm
Thursday 2 May 11am-5pm
Friday 3 May 11am-5pm
Saturday 4 May 10am-5pm
Sunday 5 May 10am-5pm
The Cloud, Queens Wharf, Auckland CBD