Cindy Xin Xian Huang
A Footnote on New Zealand History
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.
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.