A Contextual Tightrope


Lynn Lu, Haumapuhia Rising (2018). Photo by Virginia Kennard

23 March 2018


A body was seen floating in Wellington harbour. It was face down in the water and enveloped in a tangle of long black hair and white fabric. This chilling sight, which no doubt caught some people off guard, was a performance titled Haumapuhia Rising by artist Lynn Lu as part of The Performance Arcade’s 2018 programme.

Celebrating its 8th year and located on Wellington’s waterfront, The Performance Arcade is a nationally significant art event that has grown in ambition with each iteration. In particular, the event’s temporary shipping container architecture has evolved from a simple sequence of containers arranged in a line to the much more elaborate 2018 construction — consisting of multiple two-storey stacks of containers that created a central arena-like enclave complete with a café/bar and stage.

Under the theme of counter narratives, this year’s programme . . .