Cindy Xin Xian Huang

A Footnote on New Zealand History

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Our written history is dominated by Pākehā historians who have told the stories of others from their perspective, imposing their lens, which often justifies and skews in favour of a positive colonial narrative. This has led to a severe lack of written knowledge around Chinese history in Aotearoa, and more specifically Māori Chinese history due to the strong emphasis on a bicultural Pakeha and Māori narrative as the only narrative.

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Joe and Fay Gock, Oil on Hardboard. 2019
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Centred around stories of Māori and Chinese interactions, relationships and intersectionality, the project focuses on little known stories, such as the gift of a korowai to Mao Zedong on behalf of Korokī Mahuta - the Fifth Māori king; a refugee Chinese couple who saved the Kumara, and the sinking of S.S Ventnor. At the same time, the project keeps to an aesthetic that is reminiscent of a market garden as it was within these sites where Chinese and Maori relationships were fostered and established.

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