After leaving New Zealand in mid-1967, an exhibition of Maori art has been on tour in Australia, Western Samoa, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan.
Traditional Maori artifacts borrowed from the Canterbury, Auckland and Dominion Museums are being shown alongside sculpture, paintings and other works by modern Maori artists. The display was assembled by the Departments of External Affairs and Tourist and Publicity.
The display at first consisted of 24 artifacts and 18 modern wood carvings and paintings, and has since been augmented by 23 items including three waka huia, a war canoe prow, two cloaks, tiki and flutes. It has stimulated keen interest in Maori culture wherever it has gone, and New Zealand High Commission and Embassy staffs have displayed Maori photographs and shown films on arts and crafts, songs and dances to interested viewers.
Last October, the display, after being in three Australian cities, and in Apia, was opened at Kuala Lumpur by the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak.
Later, after being seen by an estimated 25,000 people in Singapore, the display was set up in the City Hall Art Gallery, Hong Kong.
The most recent showing has been in Tokyo, Japan, where the exhibition was opened on 3 May by Her Imperial Highness Princess Chichibu. The display, in the large Tokyo Department Store, was visited by 20,000 people in its first week. The addition of several more display items and a large selection of both colour and black and white photographs held by the New Zealand Embassy there, plus fully explanatory captions in Japanese as well as English, contributed to its success.