Believe - Kiku Kabuki


Karanga Plaza - Viaduct Harbour • 24 May - 12 June

24hrs daily
171 Halsey St, Auckland Central
Jenna Eriksen

Auckland Festival of Photography presents an exclusive showcase by New Zealand artist, Jenna Eriksen as part of the 2024 Festival theme Believe [whakapono].

During her Kōwhai Creator residency in Tokyo, Japan in late 2023, Jenna was drawn to the national flower of Japan, the Chrysanthemum. Following a series of serendipitous encounters and visits to Yushima Tenmangū shrine, she set about capturing the spirits that live in each bloom, with brilliant colours, and post production techniques to create these strong, bold flowers, with powerful meaning and spiritual connection. 

Artist statement -

付き に 村雲、 花 に 嵐
Tsuki ni muragumo, Hana ni arashi
“The moon is often hidden by a cloud; flowers are often scattered by the wind”

The meaning behind this series of works by New Zealand Artist Jenna Eriksen comes together to form a vision of a Kami like deity offering towards the appreciation of the chrysanthemum flower. The flowers were gifted to the artist from Gardeners at the shinto Shrine; Yushima Thenjin, Yushima Tenman-gū (湯島天満宮 ) Tokyo, during Kiku Matsuri the annual Chrysanthemum festival.

KIKU - The chrysanthemum (kiku ) has a long and distinguished history in Japan. Imported from China over a thousand years ago, this autumn flower is as significant a seasonal icon as the cherry blossom ( sakura ) is to spring. The chrysanthemum has adorned the imperial family crest since the thirteenth century and is a symbol of the state, depicted on everything from the Japanese passport to the 50 yen coin. Usually held in October, these festivals often have roots reaching back into the Edo period (1603 1868).

KABUKI: The Japanese root of kabuki has two meanings: "song and dance" and also "to do something absurd or outside the norm." This distinctive art form, which combines drama and dance, first appeared about 400 years ago, during Japan's Edo period.

Thanks to the Auckland Council City Centre targeted rate and in Japan to the Tokyo Institute of Photography.

Jenna Eriksen; Kiki Kabuki

Jenna Eriksen - Kiku Kabuki series

AFP logo

« Back to the programme

Stay informed of our festivals and news

Subscribe to our newsletter and we'll send you periodic updates.