New Zealand has featured in previous editions of the Sao Paulo Bienal – Joe Sheehan in the 28th, Andrew McLeod and Brendan Wilkinson in the 27th, Remember New Zealand curated by Tobias Berger for the 26th, Gavin Hipkins in the 25th and Peter Robinson in the 23rd. But New Zealand artists were not included in the 29th edition and they haven't made the cut again this year with the 30th edition. Nor are there any New Zealand artists in the Gwangju Biennale or in the upcoming Shanghai Biennale.
Over the past two decades a handful of New Zealand curators were instrumental in brokering our artists into these events before moving overseas to take up curatorial positions. Two of them have returned to New Zealand – Robert Leonard (now chief curator at the City Gallery Wellington) and Simon Rees (the new director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery) – and look set to ramp up biennale representation for our artists again.
Image: Pavilhao Ciccillo Matarazzo, venue for the Sao Paulo Bienal