After a week of traveling around Wellington, I suddenly knew why Wellington is the cultural capital of New Zealand.
Having lived in Auckland all my life, I knew Auckland. When I traveled around China, I saw the touristification (for lack of a better word) of the ancient relics - the buildings were restored with shiny paint that conceals age like a cake of foundation. Not to mention streets full of traditional art in a tough dog eat dog livelihood. Contemporary art in Auckland - in a gallery or two. Contemporary art in China, well, I found some in a basement showroom. Contemporary art in Wellington, however, is found just about everywhere.
It just goes to show, a city (or its citizens anyway and possibly a much prodded management, too) has to put their backs into it to make the creative a part of itself. A stroll down Lambton Quay later, you see how art meshes with city habitation as well as being one of those nice urban details. It is true that, yes, I do like to sit next to the interesting fountain sculpture as I rest my sore backpacking shoulders. Or perhaps on the well composed stone seating. Art is enjoyed, art is useful, art can bring out something different in each one of us. Having creative things outside of exclusively patronized galleries let the wider public experience things - moments of encounter in a world of the lonely citizen.