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In Conversation: Identity, Migration and Cultural Legacy

14 May, 2023

Join artist Bev Moon and Paul Chin from the NZ Chinese Poll Tax Trust for this special conversation on Mother’s Day.

Inspired by the exhibition Fortune, join artist Bev Moon and Paul Chin from the NZ Chinese Poll Tax Trust for this special conversation on Mother’s Day.

Attendance is free for this artist talk but please register online as numbers are limited.


About Fortune

On now at Waikato Museum, 24 February – 2 July 2023.

“A Knitted Yum Cha for my Mother’s 90th Birthday”

Artist Bev Moon has created a yum cha feast, not of food, but lovingly knitted wool.

‘Fortune’ is the artist’s tribute to her Chinese mother and grandmother who faced great obstacles to settle in New Zealand. Both women were superb cooks and accomplished knitters. Moon weaves both crafts together in this touching tribute.

Complete with table and all the trimmings, this is a yum cha not to miss.


About Bev Moon

Wellington-born, Auckland-based artist Bev Moon (Seyip, Cantonese, Taishanese, Chinese) explores cultural constructs through drawing, sculpture, painting, and textiles.

Moon is descended from Taishanese men who first arrived in New Zealand in the 1880s in search of gold and new opportunities. Due to New Zealand’s discriminatory ‘poll tax’ immigration policy, their wives had to remain in China. Moon’s mother and grandmother were two of only 500 Chinese women and children eventually granted temporary refuge by the New Zealand government to escape the Japanese invasion in World War II.

Moon seeks to convey both the courage and resilience of her ancestors, and to comment on her experiences growing up with social, cultural and material expectations. Narrative frameworks, labour intensive making and a commitment to contextualising histories never spoken about before, but now beginning to be acknowledged, drive her art practice.

Moon’s work is in private collections in Aotearoa and overseas. Her 2022 exhibition, Fortune which opened at Whirinaki Whare Taonga, Upper Hutt, is touring a number of public galleries and museums in Aotearoa, including Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga O Waikato and the Hocken Gallery in Dunedin.


About Paul Chin

Paul Chin is a Poll tax descendant , 4th generation NZ Dunedin born Chinese  with ancestors being one of the many goldminers in the 1900s.  New Zealand Chinese Association (NZCA) has been an integral part of his life,  grandfather Bing Foon Chin was a founding member of the Otago branch and  the family, along with his father Tim, was active  in both business and social aspects of the Otago Chinese community.   During his teen years, he participated  in the Chinese Easter tournaments and was involved as an Otago  youth committee member.  Currently, Paul serves the  Chinese community as President of the NZCA Waikato branch, is current Vice President on the NZCA Executive board  and is involved in the wider Chinese community as current Chair of the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust.

NZCA is the leading and oldest apolitical Chinese organization in NZ.  Having experienced first-hand, the continuing cultural connections and friendships gained through being involved with numerous NZCA functions and events over several decades, Paul understands the benefits to the local and wider Chinese community,  his own immediate and  extended family, and his network of friends.  In particular  Easter, YLC and LDC programs which, both his now adult children have experienced .  Paul is of the belief that the  organization will continue to be relevant to the current and future members – that the voice of younger Chinese plays a key part.  He helping NZCA through his leadership support, to facilitate, and engage with others to ensure the future growth of NZCA for the next future generations.

Being  a Director  and self-employed co-owner of Total Pavement Maintenance Systems Ltd (TPMS 2013),  his expertise is in marketing, project civil engineering management and  providing technical expertise on road pavement materials and techniques which his company manufactures and distributes throughout New Zealand and more recently into Australia.  As a Roading Engineering specialist, his many years of experience in this area has been gained through working in a variety of Corporate organisations from large Multi-national roading construction firms, working for a council and now being self employed with his own company.


Image credit: Bev Moon, Fortune. Dianne Thomson Photography

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14 May, 2023
11am - 12pm


Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato
1 Grantham Street
Hamilton Central

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