He Piko, He Taniwha Event as iCalendar

(Creative Events, Fine Arts, George Fraser Gallery)

06 July 2016 - 16 July 2016

Venue: George Fraser Gallery

Location: 25a Princes Street, Auckland Central

Contact email: info-georgefraser@auckland.ac.nz

Website: George Fraser Gallery

George Fraser Gallery


Wednesday 6 July
5pm - 7pm


Thursday 7 to Saturday 16 July
11am - 4pm


Hana Pera Aoake
Albe Ashton
Louis Bretana
Quishlie Charan
Weimin Li 
Nadine Paredes

Opening up a space for P.O.C. (People of Colour) to freely talk and discuss migration, living in a continuously colonised country and how perceptions of historical, cultural and ethnic identity shift through systematic oppression. This space/platform is offering autonomy around cultural expression and allowing emotional freedom for the selected artists to reject preconceived boundaries of what should constitute an ethnic identity. Looking at individual lived experiences as a form of expression, the exhibition explores how one can hold on to their colonial traditions while living away from their cultural origins. He Piko, He Taniwha challenges and investigates how cultural adaption and survival is undertaken in a hegemonic state - the West. Self-reflection of the artist is used as a form of dialogue to unravel the framing of our former colonisers and question the view of biases of dominant cultures. Using a space dictated and controlled by the Western institution allows an opportunity to reclaim and recover the remnants of oneself and understand yourself away from the gaze of Western binary culture.

The title of the exhibition He Piko, He Taniwha, in its translation means "The serpent that bends and twists through the land, leaves a moving stream of life in its place". Through traditional Maori storytelling this exhibition will be the beginning of the story of bringing together each artist as a serpent on a journey through the land, as the changes we make are left in our place. Kingitanga, the Maori Royal Family, used the story of the Taniwha to begin each political movement and became a symbol of tangata whenua, strength, and resilience, during the first wave of colonisation. We now step forward for the ancestors of Aotearoa, our own ancestors, and continue to carry on their legacy towards a horizon where we can rest our heads on the mountain tops, knowing that the future will feel the sun rise in the east.