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First Impressions of OUBEY@AotearoaNewZealand

An Element of the Universal – OUBEY@AotearoaNewZealand The fourth stopover of the OUBEY Global Encounters Tour in Aotearoa New Zealand was an extraordinary cross-cultural event. A video documentation about it will go online at the end of May. In the meantime we’re publishing this short report to share some of our experiences with you.

Impressive and Powerful Welcome: The Traditional Powhiri Ceremony

The Aotearoa MINDKISS Team are officially welcomed as members of the community of the Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Nga Mokopuna Maori school through the traditional powhiri ceremony – an acknowledgement of one hour and an expression of high regard.


Ladies first – the powhiri begins with a powerful “female part”: Maori women shout and sing while the guests enter the school area and walk to the assembly hall “Te Marae” – step by step.

Unusual and Unexpected: Maori Words Spoken by a Non-Maori Woman at the Powhiri

It doesn´t accord to the rules of the powhiri that a woman may speak in the second, the “male part” of the ceremony. The fact that even though Dagmar Woyde-Koehler was allowed to do so is a rare exception and an expression of highest regard and respect.


For her part she shows her esteem and respect for the school community through the words she speaks to them in the Maori language. So she not only earns the sympathy of her young hosts but also raises their interest to see OUBEYs paintings.

WOW: “Te Marae”, the Simple School Assembly Hall, Gets a Makeover

To hang OUBEYs paintings, it is necessary to give the inside of the simple school assembly hall, Te Marae, a complete makeover.


The black draped partitions create a marvelous atmosphere in which OUBEYs paintings can develop their full impact.


The transformation of the hall finds enthusiastic response: Wow! Wow! Wow! Once everything is ready, the first young visitors come in – curious to see the paintings and Encounter Videos.

A Different Kind of Universal Language: Maori Kids Also Know What’s Cool!


These two smart lads are especially delighted to see the spontaneous reaction of Luise Neukirch – “That’s cool!”- to OUBEYs painting LeeRoy in the „About Encounters“ video. Because “cool” is the word they too used to describe it! To see Luise´s Encounter video click here.

Simple But Effective: A Homemade Sign Shows the Way to OUBEY


During the preparations one of the teachers makes this laminated computer print with OUBEYs portrait and signature and sticks it to the doorframe opening into the assembly hall. Thanks to this sign guests at the Te Ra O Kupe have no difficulty in finding their way to OUBEYs pictures.

Fascinating: OUBEYs Paintings Entice to Linger

On this hot late summer Sunday in Wellington, some guests perhaps first come to the darkened and peaceful assembly hall Te Marae in search of a little shade and quiet.


But then they discover OUBEYs paintings, become involved in the Encounter Videos, want to know more, want to talk about the discoveries they had made and end up staying much longer than initially intended.

Intruiging and Encouraging: OUBEYs Art Awakens the Zest to Discover

Each stopover of the Global Encounter Tour offers the visitors the opportunity to do an “Open Encounter” with one of OUBEYs original paintings. On Sunday at “Te Ra O Kupe” it stands covered in a classroom waiting to encounter people and hear them talk freely and spontaneously about the ideas and associations it awakes in them.


Many people take this opportunity. “It looks like the tree of life stretching far out into the cosmos”, said Elena on seeing this picture. Two years ago, the Maori violinist made her own encounter with another one of OUBEYs paintings that can be seen on the Encounter Video in the assembly hall.


Despite her busy schedule, she takes the time to come to Te Ra O Kupe for a wonderful reunion – with her very own Encounter painting by OUBEY, and Dagmar Woyde-Koehler.

Sensitive and inspirational: Dallas Seymour Encounters OUBEYs Samurai

Dallas Seymour is a living legend in New Zealand and not just among rugby fans. This descendant of the Maori has had an incredibly successful career of nearly twenty years playing in the national team and with the famous All Blacks, too.


His encounter with OUBEYs Samurai was a special experience of great intense and sensitivity. OUBEY would certainly have been delighted. The video of the encounter will go online later this year.

Thanks to Tanemahuta Gray, who did an encounter himself two years ago, this encounter with Dallas Seymour could happen at all. The Maori dancer played rugby himself when he was a boy and contacted us with Dallas.

The Day After – Questions and Answers While Driving on the Left-Hand Side

How did the idea of a Global Tour stopover in New Zealand first arise? How did the first contact with Maori on Aotearoa come about? How come that the Maori school was willing to exhibit OUBEYs art at its Te Ra O Kupe? Why is this stopover of the Global Tour so crucial for OUBEYs idea of the significance of his art? And why is the exhibition subtitled “An Element of the Universal?”


These and many other questions were discussed during a last trip in the truck around the Peninsula of Miramar and Seatoun where Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Nga Mokopuna is located, the Maori school where all of this happened.

The answers to these questions form part of the video documentary about this stopover of the Global Encounters Tour in Aotearoa New Zealand which will go online at the end of May.