'Loli-Pop' in Auckland: Engaging Asian Communities and Audiences through the Museum
This paper discusses how museums and galleries might positively engage with Asian audiences and bring Asian communities into the museum environment. Museums are cultural institutions that should reflect, preserve, interpret and promote cultural heritage and communities. In the local Acts of the four major metropolitan museums in New Zealand, there are specific requirements for these institutions to represent their communities' ethinic diversities. New Zealand has become increasingly multicultural. According to New Zealand's 2006 census, 17.8 percent of New Zealanders are of non-Pakeha, non-Maori ethnicity, and 22.9 percent were born outside New Zealand. With the growing number of Asians living in New Zealand, and in particular Auckland, a question may be raised as to whether local museums truly reflect and engage with these communities. Using the example of the exhibition Loli-pop: a downtown Auckland view on Japanese street fashion as a case study ( Auckland War Memorial Museum, 14 September - 26 November), the authors explore how New Zealand museums and galleries can effectively reflect and communicate with Asian audiences through exhibition.