Photo Credit: Jack Fisher courtesy of Te Papa

Photo Credit: Jack Fisher courtesy of Te Papa


Artist, Designer & Educator

Kerry Ann Lee is a visual artist, designer and educator from Aotearoa, New Zealand. With a background in graphic art, she creates multi-media installations, print and image-based works.
As the Creative Director of the 2018 Asian Aotearoa Arts Hui and Senior Lecturer at the School of Design at Massey University College of Creative Arts (CoCA), she has been involved with diverse communities through public art commissions, exhibitions, workshops and art education programmes and is well known for her work with independent publishing and fanzines
over the past 20 years.

As an artist of third-generation Chinese descent in New Zealand, her work has explored urban settlement and culture clash occurring in the Asia-Pacific region.

Kerry Ann Lee has undertaken international residencies in China, Taiwan, US, Mexico and Australia and exhibits regularly in New Zealand, including, Return to Skyland a recent work for The National Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa.

Find out more about Kerry Ann Lee

Lost Empire, 2010 Kerry Ann Lee Framed digital lambda print, 59 x 84 cm James Wallace Arts Trust Collection

Lost Empire, 2010
Kerry Ann Lee
Framed digital lambda print, 59 x 84 cm
James Wallace Arts Trust Collection

Clare: How important do you think awards and competitions are for artists today?

Kerry Ann: Difficult to say. They exist as opportunities for artists to ‘get their work out of the studio and into the world’, which is a good and vital thing. Working as an artist is not easy, and you’re constantly pushing against perceptions, expectations and self-doubt. It’s a chancy thing to enter competitions and awards, but if it’s genuinely of interest, go for it, otherwise it’s just status quo if you don’t. No risk, no gain. At the very least you get more experience and closer to determining their value and place in your own practice.

Clare: Do you have any advice for any artists considering entering our competition?

Kerry Ann: There are so many different types of artists out there from those working commercially, exhibiting to varing degrees of success, those just learning, working undercover, in design studios, working in collectives, as artisans, on remote islands with poor internet, painting film sets or community murals. Regardless of discipline, background, age, stage, ability or acclaim, my advice is aim to make good work and believe in your practice. People will always have opinions, but at the end of the day, your work is remarkable because you made something unique to you. Also worth quoting Chuck D via my colleague Karl who shared this with our students recently: “Don’t let a win get to your head, and a loss to your heart.”

Read the rest of Kerry Ann's Interview on our Blog.