What's on

What's on

Brian Brake
Lens on China and Japan


25 August to 15 October

The extraordinary exhibition, Brian Brake: Lens on China and Japan, opens on 25 August, featuring 32 superb photographic images by Brian Brake. Selected from Te Papa’s photography collection, these images are considered by some to be Brake’s strongest work.

May Day celebrations, Tiananmen Square, Beijing; 1957; Photographed by Brian Brake
Image ref: CT.039795
Te Papa gratefully acknowledges the gift of the Brian Brake collection by Wai-man Lau

May Day celebrations, Tiananmen Square, Beijing; 1957; Photographed by Brian Brake

Image ref: CT.039795

Te Papa gratefully acknowledges the gift of the Brian Brake collection by Wai-man Lau

Brake’s career largely began in the mid-1950s when he worked as a globe-trotting photojournalist for the renowned Paris photo agency Magnum. 

 
Brian Brake: Lens on China and Japan offers two slices from Brian Brake’s long career; photographs of China he took in the late 1950s, and those of Japan in 1963 and 1964. These gained relatively little attention at the time, but today they firmly rank amongst his very best work.

Chairman Mao Zedong and foreign dignitaries viewing celebrations on the tenth anniversary of the Peoples' Republic of   China in Tiananmen Square, Beijing; 1959; 
Photographed by Brian Brake 
Image ref: CT.041535
Te Papa gratefully acknowledges the gift of the Brian Brake collection by Wai-man Lau.

Chairman Mao Zedong and foreign dignitaries viewing celebrations on the tenth anniversary of the Peoples' Republic of China in Tiananmen Square, Beijing; 1959;

Photographed by Brian Brake

Image ref: CT.041535

Te Papa gratefully acknowledges the gift of the Brian Brake collection by Wai-man Lau.

Film set, Japan 
From a series on the Asian film industry for Life1963
Photographed by Brian Brake
Image ref: CT.034961
Te Papa gratefully acknowledges the gift of the Brian Brake collection by Wai-man Lau

Film set, Japan

From a series on the Asian film industry for Life1963

Photographed by Brian Brake

Image ref: CT.034961

Te Papa gratefully acknowledges the gift of the Brian Brake collection by Wai-man Lau

Brake was one of a small number of Western photographers who gained access to China in the 1950s, and his photographs were eagerly snapped up by international magazines. They mainly focussed on China’s leader Mao Zedong and political parades in Beijing, and while certainly topical and often spectacular, these made up of only a small portion of Brake’s China photographs. He travelled extensively throughout the country, and he took many photographs of everyday scenes. However it seems there was little interest in publishing images of daily life at a time when the USA and China regarded each other with mutual apprehension and hostility. 

As well as the 32 prints, the exhibition includes documentary footage and examples of magazines in which Brake’s work appeared. 

Brian Brake: Lens on China and Japan gives an unprecedented insight into Brake’s view of these two nations. The exhibition is made possible by the generous gift, from Wai-man Lau, of Brake’s photographic archive to Te Papa, making it available to the nation for future generations.

Purely Pastel

25 August to 15 October

Twelve pastel artists who belong to the national body of pastel artists, PANZ, will be showing a vibrant and energetic body of work including landscapes, seascapes, portraits and animal portraits. The exhibition is co-ordinated by well-known New Plymouth pastel artist Judith White.

Old Stratford photos from the James McAllister Collection

September 18 – 22

Old Stratford Photos from the James McAllister Collection, on permanent loan from the Alexander Turnbull Library. 5 DAYS ONLY

Monday 18th September to Friday 22nd September.

Image: Staff Webber and Co. 1924