Celebrating Asian Artists in Documentary Series Co-Directed by Member Nahyeon Lee


Spotlighting Asian Artists in Aotearoa, Portraits is a new 12-part micro-documentary series with six episodes directed by DEGANZ member and participant of the 2021 Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator, Nahyeon Lee.

Presented by Asian arts organisation Oryza, Portraits is a nuanced snapshot of Asian Artists in Tāmaki Makaurau and the intersection of creativity and identity in the diaspora. Filmed last year, the series has just launched the first episode, directed by Nahyeon and featuring Rosabel Tan, the founding editor of Pantograph Punch.

“It started with the big questions that I’m always asking myself, about how to respectfully tread the intersection between identity and creativity, how to ensure the artists are uplifted in the process, not flattened into a prescribed identity,” writes Nahyeon.

“I wanted this process to be a collaboration, where I would let the artists lead the conversation on how they wanted to define themselves and their work instead of thrusting assumptions and labels onto them.

“I’m so proud of this lil series and feeling really grateful for all the artists who trusted me and let me into their worlds to discuss their work.”

Nahyeon also directed episodes with filmmaker Roseanne Liang, interdisciplinary designer Michael McCabe, producer Puteri Raja Ariff, actor Pamela Sidhu and zine-maker Helen Yeung. Well done Nahyeon!

Episodes drop weekly on Oryza’s Instagram and website.

Last updated on 18 November 2021