Emeritus Professor Michael Te Rakato Parekowhai

MFA, DipTchg


Working across the disciplines of sculpture, installation and photography, Michael Parekowhai’s work plays with perceptions of space, locality, and nationhood. Early in his career he participated in exhibitions – Choice! (1990); Headlands (1992); and Cultural Safety (1995) – now recognised as seminal in the development of contemporary New Zealand art. Along with artists such as Peter Robinson, Jacqueline Fraser, Shane Cotton and Lisa Reihana, Parekowhai’s work in this period expanded the terms of reference for contemporary Māori art.

In 2011 Parekowhai was the sole artist to represent New Zealand at the 54th Venice Biennale, an important event in the international arts calendar. On First Looking into Chapman's Homer was favourably reviewed in national and international publications, attracting 40,000 visitors. The same year he was named Nga Toa Whakaihuwaka, Māori of the Year for Arts, and awarded the prestigious Premier of Queensland Sculpture Commission.

Research | Current

  • Sculpture
  • Installation
  • Photography
  • Art education - theory and practice

Teaching | Current

I am on leave throughout 2019.


Artist Laureate, Arts Foundation of New Zealand, 2001.

Premier of Queensland Sculpture Commission, Queensland, Australia, 2011.

Nga Toa Whahaihuwaka, Māori of the Year for Arts, 2011.

Barfoot & Thompson, 90th Anniversary Gift to Auckland City, Waterfront Commission, 2013.

‘Top 50 Public Art Project’ awarded by Americans for the Arts, Public Art Network, 2013 Year in Review, for Blue Stratus, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Arizona, USA, 2013.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Parekowhai, M. T. Chapman's Homer (permanent exhibition) [Sculpture] Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu, Christchurch. 22/9/2013 Related URL.
  • Parekowhai, M. T. R. (1/8/2013). Achy Breaky Heart [Sculptural Installation: aluminium, automotive paint], ASB Public Sculpture Commission, ASB Head Office, North Wharf, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland. Related URL.
  • Parekowhai, M. T. Black Rainbow: Ralph Hotere & Michael Parekowhai [Sculpture] Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington. 29/3/2013 - 29/9/2013 Related URL.
  • Parekowhai, M. (8/12/2012). The World Turns [Bronze sculptural installation], Premier of Queensland Sculpture Commission, Queensland Art Gallery/ Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
  • Parekowhai, M. T. The World Turns (permanent exhibition) [Sculptural Installation] Premier of Queensland Sculpture Commission, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. 8/12/2012 Related URL.
  • Parekowhai, M. T. Michael Parekowhai: Venice Biennale (Solo Exhibition) [Bronze sculpture and carved piano] Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. 25/8/2012 - 23/9/2012 Related URL.
  • Parekowhai, M. T. Peripheral Relations: Marcel Duchamp and New Zealand Art 1960-2011 [Sculpture: Fibreglass and Automotive Paint] Adam Art Gallery, Wellington. 27/7/2012 - 7/10/2012 Related URL.
  • Madayag, M., Parekowhai, M. T. R., & Deeb, P. (2012). Blue stratus. Arizona, USA City of Phoenix, Arizona, USA Related URL.