Making Sense of Pandemic

Understanding the experiences of ethnic Chinese in Aotearoa during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Te Papa researcher: Dr Grace Gassin, Curator Asian New Zealand Histories

Project description: This project aims to ensure that the experiences of ethnic Chinese living through the Covid-19 pandemic in Aotearoa are ethically and sensitively represented in our national collections.

By exploring the ways people of diverse Chinese heritages are expressing and making meaning of the pandemic both on- and offline, it provides a solid research basis to support the acquisition of objects for Te Papa’s emerging Covid-19 collection. 

It also supports related activities and collaborations aimed at promoting conversations around the wellbeing of ethnic Chinese in New Zealand during the pandemic.

White T-shirt with a black print saying ‘I am from Wuhan, this city is not a virus, I am not a virus’ and a picture of a face mask


‘I am from Wuhan’ T-shirt, February 2020, Christchurch, by Cat Xuechen Xiao. Gift of Cat Xuechen Xiao, 2020. Te Papa (GH018325)