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Sister City relationship takes a creative step forward

22 August 2006

Christchurch’s sister city relationship with Kurashiki, Japan takes a creative step forward today with an artistic venture between New Zealander Graham Bennett and Japan’s Professor Wataru Hamasaka.

The two sculptors, both highly regarded in their respective countries, will exhibit together at an exhibition entitled Ukabu at the Arthouse from today until 10 September 2006.

The pair will also present a joint-exhibition at Gallery Shiwori, Kurashiki, in 2007.

An invitation to Mr Bennett to extend part of his 1999 Tokyo exhibition to the historic Hashimaya Gallery in Kurashiki has since become a catalyst for a number of subsequent initiatives including Ukabu. 

In November 2003 a Sister City anniversary sculpture, ‘Lines Extending’, was gifted to Kurashiki, from Christchurch. Bennett’s 3m stainless steel structure completed during a six week residency at Kurashiki University of Science and Art, incorporated river stones from the Waimakariri and Rakaia Rivers, and Takahashi River, Kurashiki.

Professor Hamaska, the Arts’ Centre Artist in Residence in March 2004, sculpted the ‘Canoe in the Canoe’, a 2.2m long Timaru basalt carving featuring a smaller canoe inside it made from granite found in the Tsurajima area of Kurashiki.  This sculpture was gifted to the city of Christchurch by  Kurashiki City to complete the marking of the 30th anniversary of the sister-city relationship.

Ukabu will be open daily from 12-6pm Monday to Friday and 12-5pm Saturday and Sunday at the Arthouse, 292 Montreal Street, Christchurch.


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