The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa is a governmental institution to promote art in Wellington. They focus on "Changing hearts, minds, and lives."
Te Papa’s vision for the future is to change hearts, minds, and lives being a forum for the nation to present, explore, and preserve the heritage of its cultures and knowledge of the natural environment. Te Papa was established with this role by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Act 1992.
Te Papa has a strong a strong commitment to biculturalism through iwi (tribal) exhibitions, wānanga (workshops), and other initiatives.
NSTP aims to strengthen the museum sector by providing practical and strategic help to museums, galleries, and iwi tribes throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. Te Papa does this through training, resources, funding grants, advice, and collaborative opportunities including hui gatherings.
The Iwi Exhibition Programme gives iwi (tribes) the chance to present their taonga (treasures) and stories in a national forum. The programme is an important expression of mana taonga – the role of communities in the understanding and care of collections. This concept underpins Te Papa’s guardianship of all taonga (treasures).
Iwi in residence. Each iwi (tribe) works collaboratively with Te Papa to create an exhibition. During the exhibition’s run, kaumātua (elders) reside at Te Papa and carry out a range of roles, including ceremonial duties on Te Marae.
Where should an exhibition of New Zealand art begin? The works here present different visions of art In Aotearoa New Zealand and reveal ripples of inspiration and cross-cultural exchange flowing to and from the Pacific shores.
Gordon Walters, New Zealand. Karakia 1997. Acrylic and PVA paint on canvas.
Theo Schoon, The Netherlands, New Zealand. Ingoa kore 1963.
The kowhaiwhai-inpired patterns in this work reveal Theo Schoon fascination with Maori art and design. However, to Schoon, the cultural meaning of Maori forms were less important than the forms themselves.
Artist unknown, New Zealand. Kaho Wood, paint.
Ngataiharuru Taepa Te Atiawa and Te Arawa iwi (tribes), New Zealand. Tinakori 2006 Lacquer on PVC pipe.
Ngataiharuru Taepa Te Atiawa and Te Arawa iwi (tribes), New Zealand. Maunga titihea 2017 Taranaki red ochre on board.
Angela Tiatia, New Zealand. hibiscus rosa-sinensis 2010 Digital video.
In thsi video, artist Angela Tiatia holds you in an unflinching gaze as she devours a hibiscus flower.
These photos show Samoan men receiving tatau from tufuga tatatau (master tatto0ist) Su'a Tavui Pasina losefo Ah Ken.
In 1978, Mark Adams photographed a Samoan man with a pe'a (customary waist-to-knee tattoo) in a suburban Auckland villa. The incongruity struck Adams, was he in Polynesia or New Zealand? He said of the encounter;
"the stranger in the frame was me, not him. He already knew he was in Polynesia... I was the exotic in the frame."
Robyn Kahukiwa, Ngati Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Te Whanau-a-Ruataupare iwi (tribes) The migration 1973 Oil on hardboard
Here Robyn reflects the urban world in which most Maori lived by the 1970s.
John Pule, Niue, New Zealand Episode AA 94 0035; tukalagi haaku 1994 Oil on canvas
This work is loosely inspired by the composition of hiapo (Niuean tapa cloth) filled with plant motifs and abstract patterns.
Ngataiharuru Taepa, Te Atiawa and Te Arawa iwi (tribes), New Zealand. Kanohi kitea 2008 Lacquer on wood.
A sustained focus of Ngataiharuru Taepa art practice is his exploration of whakairo, Maori carving. He used here materials and methods not typically associated with this art form. The work is a digitally rendered carving.
Artist unknown, Fiji. Masi (Fijian bark cloth)
Colin McCahon, New Zealand koru PVA on three hardboard panels
This work connects Colin McCahon's interest in Maori culture with his exploration of numerals as forms and symbols.
Pou whakairo about 1840. Maker unknown, wood, sealing wax.
Artist unknown, Papua New Guinea.
Sopolemalama Filippe Tohi, Tonga. Haukulasi 2017, Acrylic yarn on cardboard. Haupapa 2017, Wood, glue.
"for me, the Sennit patterns of the Pacific convey our memories and experience as well as carry us from place to place." Sopolemalama Filippe Tohi