Mike Heynes

Fantastic Scenes from Hiroshima New Zealand Farm

30 July 2016 - 18 September 2016

Tourism and agriculture form a large part of New Zealand’s reputation overseas and are a driving force behind the country’s economy. However despite being known for our on-shore farming pursuits and clean green marketing image, little is known of off-shore homages such as the Hiroshima-based rural attraction, the ‘New Zealand Farm’.

The ‘New Zealand Farm’ was a Japanese-owned family theme park operated by the Japanese company Farm Co Ltd between 1990 and 2008. Notable features included a petting zoo, sheep show, gondola, restaurant, gift shop and fairground rides. The park was established to provide families with a rural experience and offered a means for boosting the ailing regional economy. 

Taking online footage of the park captured by ‘urban explorer’ Florian Seidel as source material, artist Mike Heynes has created a series of models depicting five deteriorated monuments housed on the site. These monuments include a tepee playground and several fountains adorned with statues of bears, Aquarius the water-barer and other unlikely cultural references.

Mike Heynes is a Wellington-based artist who works across video, animation and installation to examine the construction of the entertainment industry and consumer culture.  Heynes completed a Masters Degree in Fine Arts at Massey University School of Art in 2013 and a degree in Theatre and Film Studies from Victoria University Wellington in 1997.

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