One of the best parts of our job here at Quinovic is keeping up to date with what’s going on around Auckland so we can advise our out-of-town visitors how to maximise their stay in our beautiful city. The year is off to a great start with some exciting events in the calendar for January. Here are five of our top picks:
The Obliteration Room
Auckland Art Gallery is currently playing host to a small, but the extremely high impact, exhibition by well-known international avant-garde art icon Yayoi Kusama. The ‘Obliteration Room’ started its life as a room in the gallery’s Creative Learning Space with entirely white décor and accessories, and Aucklanders have been slowly covering this blank canvas in Kusama’s trademark dots since early December (you are handed a sheet of multicoloured stickers as you enter the exhibition). Needless to say, after a few months, it’s a vibrant symphony of spotty colour with very little white insight - and well worth visiting.
The work is based on hallucinations Kusama had a childhood, where she started to see spots everywhere. Born in 1929, she is well known internationally for her provocative exhibitions and it’s incredibly exciting that Auckland is getting to experience this very family friendly one.
Yayoi Kusama: The Obliteration Room, Auckland Art Gallery, 9 Dec 2017 - 2 Apr 2018
If you need a bit of livening up after a relaxed summer holiday, the Latin Fiesta is the perfect way to do it. Aotea Square will come alive with Latin sounds and the exotic aromas of South American food. You can learn Zumba, Samba, Salsa, Bachata and Tango or just sit back and watch how it’s done while you soak up the festive atmosphere and vibrant fun music. It’s the perfect way to put some energy into your new year.
This year, Ernesto Zuñiga and his band Ashé Cuba will immerse you in the high-energy and unique tradition of Cuba and you can also experience the authentic sounds of a Mexican mariachi band with Fidel Pimentel from Veracruz Mexico. It’s the next best thing to a ticket to Havana, Brasilia or Mexico City - all in little ol’ Auckland.
Latin Fiesta, Aotea Square, 12 - 14 Jan
Auckland International Buskers Festival
Auckland city’s amount of street performers is set to multiply exponentially over Auckland Anniversary Weekend. And we’re talking internationally acclaimed magicians, circus performers, contortionists, singers, dancers, comedians and even a unicycle world champion. Performances will take place at Queen’s Wharf, Princes Wharf, Eastern Viaduct, Te Wero Island, Skycity and Market Square in the Viaduct. Make sure you bring lots of loose change to show your appreciation for this, otherwise free, event.
Auckland Buskers Festival, Various locations in the central city, 26 - 28 January.
Art of Banksy
Banksy is one of the world’s best-known street artists and the secrecy around his identity has only increased his intrigue factor as he’s evolved from little known to cult status over the last 17 years. His distinct graffiti drawings, an expression of his political activism, are now coming to Auckland in an exhibition not to be missed. There will be over 80 works on display including his famous ‘Girl with Balloon’. The exhibition is curated by the artists’ former manager, Steve Lazarides,
Banksy’s work has appeared everywhere from his own stomping ground of Bristol to Paris, Bethlehem, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Manchester and everywhere in between and he was named as one of Time magazine’s World’s Most Influential People in 2010. Buy tickets online to avoid the inevitable queues.
The Art of Banksy, Aotea Centre, 5 Jan - 6 Feb
Tamaki Herenga Waka
One of Auckland’s best celebrations of Maori culture, Tamaki Herenga Waka 2017 will take place in and around the Viaduct area on Anniversary Weekend. There will be traditional and contemporary music, cultural performances, fashion, art, craft, traditional healing and tattooing, storytelling, a digital space for playing games and learning basic Te Reo and Waka displays on the water (you can even have a go at paddling yourself).
The food looks set to be great too: kawakawa sorbet, smoked kahawai and watercress salad, a modern maori twist on the classic Reuben sandwich, mussel and whitebait fritters, smoked tuna and eel, seafood chowder, crumbed scallops, steamed mussel pots, half-shell oysters, hot hangi, fried bread, boil-up, fresh fruit, drinking coconuts, ice-cream in pineapple and watermelon, and kina shots.
Tamaki Herenga Waka Festival, Viaduct Harbour, 27 - 29 January