Renee, a second-generation Chinese Kiwi, is a poet, essayist, playwright, paediatrician, medical researcher and fiction writer.
Renee has written in many genres including short and long fiction, poetry, theatre, non fiction, blogging and arts journalism. She has also collaborated on visual arts works, film and music, produced and directed theatre works, worked as a dramaturge, taught creative writing and organized community-based arts initiatives.
Renee has received acclaim for her work as a playwright, touring eight plays to festivals and venues nationally. Her play The Quiet Room was shortlisted for the Adam NZ Play Award in 2013, won the teen section of Playmarket’s Plays for the Young in 2014, and SWANZ award for Best Play in 2016. Under the Same Moon was a finalist in the SWANZ Best Play Awards in 2015. In 2017, she adapted her play The Bone Feeder into an opera, with music composed by Gareth Farr. Her first musical, Dominion Road the Musical (composed by Jun Bin Lee), was produced in 2017. She has written a full length play on climate change titled Boat People, and a childrens’ play, Sofija’s Garden.
An interactive digital narrative work, Golden Threads (2017), created for Auckland Museum (with Allan Xia), won the Play by Play Award for Diversity in 2017 and has gone on to be exhibited in China.
Renee has also been running community writing workshops for almost a decade, with New Kiwi Women Write Their Stories, a recurrent month-long writing workshop for migrant women. This initiative has so far launched 8 anthologies of migrant women’s writing. The Kitchen invites NZ writers into home kitchens with neighbours sharing stories over food.
Renee was made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to the Arts in the New Year’s Honours List 2018. She won a Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leadership Award in 2010 and the Royal Society Manhire Prize in Science Writing for Creative Non-Fiction in 2012. She won NEXT Woman of the Year awards 2018, Arts and Culture category. She has also been a recipient of the 2018 D’Arcy Writer’s Grant.
Further information on Renee and her work can be found at: