Armchair travel: A virtual visit to Auckland Art Gallery

Forced to close early in response to Auckland’s latest coronavirus response, the Auckland Art Gallery’s Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan exhibition has opened once more – this time to audiences around the world in both English and Māori.

The exhibition features art from Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868), and is now available as an interactive online experience – walk the galleries, get up close to more than 70 artworks, read the inscriptions, and enjoy having the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki to yourself.

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The immersive experience includes three tour experiences – a family tour with fun facts and activities; a curator’s highlights tour with insights into the period’s poetry, music and fashion; and a more in-depth tour with extended information about the artworks. The audio tours are presented in both English and Māori, as part of a push by the gallery to make te reo more accessible.

“Making te reo Māori a more accessible and widely used language in everyday settings, not just in educational contexts, is essential to normalising its use,” gallery director Kirsten Paisley said. “We hope this is a unique opportunity for speakers, learners and those building confidence in the language to have an engaging visual arts experience delivered entirely in te reo Māori.”

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