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20-year-old Zakea Page is pursuing his dreams at Massey University with his unique artform that brings sport and art together. Studying Creative Media Production has given him a community that has helped lift his creativity and sense of self. His passion for hockey and art will take him to the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Switzerland next year.
Zakea hasn't had a traditional Kiwi upbringing. With a childhood spent living in England, Vietnam, China, Bangladesh and Kuwait, the big passion in his life growing up was sport.
"I started playing hockey when I was five years old and I've been a passionate hockey player all my life. I represented Vietnam when I was 12 to 17 years old and I had a few international caps for them. My dream was to represent New Zealand at the Olympics and get a gold medal.
"Last year I discovered that it was very hard to compete at the highest level at both art and sports, so I had to choose. Should I go with my art or my hockey? I chose to go with art, and after witnessing Roger Federer and Usain Bolt performing [at the Olympics] in Shanghai, I realised the combination of art and sport was really important."
Zakea is in his second year of a Creative Media Production degree at Massey's College of Creative Arts in Wellington. His unique performance art technique involves painting with a hockey stick, a ball and Chinese ink.
"There's not much between sport and art. For me, it's more of a blur than different disciplines. There's not much that can make half the world cry and half the world cheer at once – sport has immense power, and so does art."
He counts winning the International Olympic Committee's medal design competition, for the Winter Youth Olympic Games next year, among his many achievements.
"One of my proudest moments was receiving three World Championship medals at the World Championship of Performing Arts. I was also really proud of being the first person in New Zealand to design an Olympic medal, and that's only due to the peers, mentors and friendships I've developed at Massey which have really helped me elevate my craft and myself as a person."
Zakea says studying at Massey "can really help any artist".
"The lecturers here are amazing and they really help your work go to the next level. My peers are phenomenal and they help you bounce ideas back and forth. It's a community where you can learn and you can make mistakes. Mistakes are an important part of that creative process so it's a great place to experiment and elevate your work."
He is staying focused on his goals. "My ultimate life ambition is to perform at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. That's where I'm trying to get to."
"I want to inspire people with my work. I want to show people that you can live your dreams and you can live your best life. And that's something that I'm working on."