Te Papa Museum

I am still in Wellington New Zealand for one more day. I have heard good things about the Te Papa Museum so that is today’s destination.

First I stop for a fancy breakfast and coffee.

The museum is in walking distance from my hotel so I stroll around town on the way there.

I am obsessed with these crossing lights. The stop is a man and the go is a lady. I am the weirdo taking pictures of the walk signal.

Te Papa museum is by the water.

The first section I visit is the Nature section, or the section dedicated to things natural to New Zealand such as volcanos, earthquakes and birds and other wildlife.

I am obsessed with this slimy sucker, something out of a science fiction movie.

And of course I have to check out the kiwis, birds I still have not seen alive.

And some bigger dumb birds with little or no arms.

The star of this exhibit is the humongous squid. It is what nightmares are made of.

It’s the biggest colossal squid ever caught! 

There is a very impressive Maori exhibit. (For the most part photos are not allowed inside). I learned many things about the Pacific peoples who came to inhabit New Zealand. I even tried to learn some new words

Rongomaraeroa Te Marae (communal meeting place)

I loved the section that contained portraits of Maori tattoos. The exhibit explained the meaning behind the tattoos. They were beautiful to see.

Kaleidoscope: Abstract Aotearoa

The modern art exhibit bursts with color.

While at the Weta Workshop yesterday I heard our guide mention the Gallipoli exhibit at the Te Papa. The workshop is responsible for designing the characters from this exhibit that shows the struggle troops from New Zealand dealt with during World War I.

It is also at this museum that I learn that I can probably never immigrate to New Zealand due to my “advanced age”. Maybe I’ll end up in a highly desired employment someday or some cute kiwi wants to help give me citizenship 😉

After the museum I stop at Mr Go’s restaurant for some Asian dishes.

I wander some more around town.

And stop for one last beer at Fortune Favours at their nice upstairs taproom.

It is back to the hotel for me to pack up and get back on the road tomorrow. I head next to Rotorua.

Back to Christchurch

I am still in Christchurch New Zealand for one more night.

My aunt has left me this morning to travel to Sydney and then back to the United States. On the way to the airport she stops at the International Antarctic Centre. I did not join her but she tells me later that it is a very good attraction to visit. Maybe next time!

I start the day with laundry instead. After I hang all my clothes outside to dry I head out on my own to do some sightseeing in town.

I end up exploring inside the Canterbury Museum.

I see an exhibit of Moa birds that were used for food but are now extinct. At the time it was the tallest bird to walk the earth.

I also see artifacts of the Aotearoa, the East Polynesian settlers, the direct ancestors of Maori.

I am fascinated at the exhibition of a study done in New Zealand. In 1975 they studied about 1000 children born in Dunedin. They have been following them for their entire lives. The exhibit displays their findings. A good amount of valuable information has been gained from this study in the areas of mental illness, antisocial behavior, drug use, and much more. It is especially meaningful to me because the study is of members of my generation.

Antarctic Exhibit

Earnest Shackleton! This name runs familiar because his struggles during one of his expeditions is now used as a tool for leadership training. In the past I was assigned an exercise in survival based on his experience as part of a leadership program at my previous job. It is interesting to see an exhibit on it now.

I scope out the local birds so I will know what to look out for when I start exploring more of New Zealand.

I visit an old timey town based on Christchurch in the late 1800’s.

What is squawkzilla? Apparently it is a recently discovered massive ancient parrot. Glad that thing is not around anymore. The cool thing about New Zealand versus Australia is you don’t feel like there are a bunch of animals trying to kill you in this country.

After the museum I wander around town a little more.

I start noticing what is still leftover from the damage done by the earthquakes of 2011.

I stop for an unhealthy snack and a cocktail at a bar with a nice view. Original Sin

I leisurely walk around town for a little while longer before heading back to my lodging for the evening. Tomorrow I set off on a new type of adventure.

Cute streets

National Gallery of Victoria

Kaws at NGV International

Today I am visiting museums – specifically a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). There are two locations of NGV in Melbourne, The Ian Potter Centre (Australian art) and NGV International (extensive collection of international art). Note: The international location is temporarily closed as of time of this post.

I first stop at the The Ian Potter Centre since it is on the way for my walk to the NGV International. I catch the free exhibit by Lucy McRae, an Australian artist.

Nearby the The Ian Potter Centre
Nearby the The Ian Potter Centre

Lucy McRae: Body Architect

I watch a short film by the artist:

Institute of Isolation, 2016, is an observational documentary that contemplates whether isolation, or extreme experience, might be used to build human resilience in the context of space travel and off-planetary existence. McRae ponders: what happens to people when they are travelling for decades in a very, very small space? What will the body and mind need to endure and how will people prepare? – From NGV website

The artist’s main inspiration of her art is the question How will technology transform the body?

The museum exhibit contains videos and photographs that show her thoughts on body and technology.

I skip the other galleries at the Ian Potter NGV because there are special exhibits at the other museum that have timed and limited entry.

NGV International

Artwork by Kaws and Keith Haring

The theme today is NYC -> coincidently the city I recently moved away from. The artists featured in the premium exhibitions are from NYC.

The first exhibit I visit is KAWS: COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS.

I love his take on pop culture personalities.

Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines

The next special ticket exhibit is the Haring and Basquiat combination gallery. The museum highlights a number of works from both artists; both were prominent in the art world during the same period. I have seen pieces from both artists at museums around the world but this is the largest collection I have seen from both artists thus far.

Keith Haring

Jean-Michel Basquiat

After I finish my viewing of the NYC artists I move on to some other exhibits while time allows. Normally I am not interested in fashion but the fashion exhibit below pulls me in.

Comme des Garçons by Rei Kawakubo

I also watch another art film but this time by Iranian artist Shirin Neshat.

Dreamers

I see some rooms with other collections: Picasso and such. However I am especially drawn to the animal art in the NGV Salon. The salon holds interesting 19th century artwork. Unfortunately I have to discover these rooms quickly because the museum is closing. I hope to return someday to get a closer look at the artwork.

After the museum closes I wander around the nearby Arts Center where I order a cocktail and get a snack. Museum days wear me out so I head back to my part of town sooner than later.

I take a different tram back to Collingwood today. It drops me off near a brewery called Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall where I try a couple beers before settling in for the evening.

Vietnamese Women’s Museum

During my visit to Hanoi Vietnam I came across the Vietnamese Women’s Museum (VWM). The museum has a wealth of information about the lives of Vietnamese women.

First off, it is very nice to get an air conditioned break from the heat. Secondly, there is not a crowd at the museum. Yea me!

I first see a very informative exhibit on marriage and patrilineal (men make the decisions) vs matrilineal (elder women make the decisions) societies in Vietnam. There is a mix of both in Vietnam, mostly depending on what region the group lives. I learn about the varying customs that different groups follow.

I love the exhibit on marriage and birth traditions.

Matrimonial tent
Birth traditions video

I enjoy the demonstrations of tools and cooking methods.

Mother Goddess

One of the temporary exhibitions is a mother goddess exhibit. It describes the practice and rituals of worshiping mother goddess by traditional Vietnamese.

This exhibit reminded me slightly of Candomblé, the afro-Portuguese religion where worshipers would take on the personas of deities in a trance-like state (I witnessed a ceremony when visiting Brazil many years ago).

The third dame: Third mother goddess in white robe
Costumes of incarnation of dieties

Women during the Vietnam war.

Another floor has an exhibit on how important women were during the Vietnam war.

Fake identity cards

Women were instrumental in creating human bridges that would make it possible to carry wounded across waterways when it was flooded.

Vietnamese women were skilled in sneaking private documents behind enemy lines. There is an exhibit on the ways women used to sneak documents. Women would walk around unnoticed during the war and were often employed in this capacity.

Textiles

A final impressive exhibit is the display of the different attire of Vietnam. I love seeing the different colors and styles throughout different regions.

Very nice way to spend an afternoon.

related post: More Hanoi

Hermès In Motion

People who know me know I have very little interest in high fashion. I sometimes crave nicer things but I don’t usually see the cost benefit for spending a ton of money on an item I can get more affordably without a label. For this reason I am surprised I am so happy to come upon a Hermès exhibit outside the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, Vietnam this past October. (October 25)

The actual exhibit is called In Motion and features Hermès designed items to travel and motion. This exhibit is right up my alley with bikes, roller skates, picnic gear, and hidden flasks. It is very enjoyable to see all fancy things related to travel.

Insulated Flask 1936
Nesting Beakers 19th century
Early 20th Century flask. There is a demonstration video on its use.
2018 Skateboard
2018 Rollerskates

Hermès In Motion is a high fashion event that is just my style. It is a nice little air conditioned exhibit that was definitely worth the hour or so.