OHO Arts Carnival | The Boxed Quarter

Written by on 18 November 2020

This Friday 20th and Saturday 21st November, the Boxed Quarter welcomes the arrival of the OHO Arts Carnival to our city! Koha Entry. 5pm – late.

New to Ōtautahi, OHO is an eruption of arts for open minds and open hearts. Join us for two dreamy nights as artists of all disciplines take over Boxed Quarter! You can expect harmonious chaos as dormant spaces come to life. You’ll find room to dance, to create, space to perform or simply meditate!

We chatted to event organisers Amiria Kiddle and Oli Peryman about the concept behind the carnival and what you can expect over the weekend.

Where did the name of the OHO Arts Carnival come from?

We chose the name OHO to evoke a sense of discovery, activation and awakening. Oho can be extended to oho ake; to awaken, rise up or e oho! – a command to wake up, arise, or oho mauri; to jump into action, startle, astonish, shock. OHO is about discovery, energy and action. 

Christchurch Slackline are set to perform over the Flux Courtyard on Saturday

Where did the idea come from?

The idea was inspired by a visit to La Fabrica de Arte Cubano, an arts space in a disused factory in La Havana, Cuba. La Fabrica de Arte Cuban showcases visual arts, industrial design and architecture, cinema, graphic design, photography, fashion, music and theatre, among small bars, restaurants and boutique shops. There was a focus on quality and artistry – skill and craft were at the forefront. Every weekend, it brings the arts to a large, diverse audience of all ages and backgrounds with something new to discover around every corner.

OHO Arts Carnival finds inspiration from La Fabrica de Arte Cubana 

What should the public expect?

OHO Arts Carnival will bring harmonious chaos to the Boxed Quarter this weekend! A mish-mash, something you hadn’t conceived of previously. Perhaps a new favourite artist/song/poem whilst discovering your new favourite new corner of Ōtautahi. 

Artist Zara Dolan will exhibiting at OHO Arts Carnival

What musicians are performing at OHO Arts Carnival?

In general, we’ve chosen acts who’ve demonstrated an openness of heart and mind in their work and a passion for their craft. Mundi has amazing energy, anyone who’s seen and danced to them live will know! The same goes for Tumbao, you can’t help but smile and dance. Friendly Potential has emerged in recent years as one of the more progressive and adventurous DJ collectives/promoter crews in the country and really know how to build a dancefloor. Fis and Rob Thorne seem to be carving out new territory for music in Aotearoa and are doing this from a place of deep cross-cultural understanding and aroha. They are danceable in their own futuristic/ancient way!  Woven through and around these key acts is a varied line-up of talented local musicians.

Mundi will be performing in the Flux Courtyard on Friday evening

What artists will be showcasing at the event?

There are so many to mention and we’d rather not single too many out! Part of our ethos includes juxtaposing professionalism and playfulness – to see what common ground emerges between them. We have artists who’ve made a living from their work alongside artists who are showcasing for the first time. The overarching theme is their openness and resonance with OHO. A key driver for us is collaboration and connection, working with The Exchange to connect with the right mix of artists has been key. So many styles and disciplines are coming into the picture, and the line-up will expand further throughout the event.

Gaby Montejo will feature with an interactive installation at OHO Arts Carnival

Why was the Boxed Quarter chosen for the event?

A member of the organising team was involved in the design of Boxed Quarter and works here, so knows the place well!  The development grew from Art Box and so had art at its genesis, the owners were keen to expand on this, and were very supportive of an arts event on their site. The Boxed Quarter has the maze-y, discovery element we needed, art panels, blank panels, existing eateries, a bar, smallish tenancies, some of which are vacant, which makes it the perfect location. 

The Conscious Club will be hosting an intimate pop-up night market on Saturday

What are you most excited for about the event?

The feels, the smells, the sights, sounds and faces… Watching the spaces evolve and transform over the night and the collaborations unfold – starting with a kooky art gallery vibe and ending with people leaving hyped after dancing up a storm to amazing DJs, and everything in between!

Flux in action

Come along to the OHO Arts Carnival, this Friday 20th and Saturday 21st from 5pm – late. You wont be disappointed!

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