Te Puna O Waiwhetū Reorients With Te Wheke

“That Aotearoa New Zealand offers a rich vantage point from which to consider the tensions and affordances of displacement is the central claim of the generous, sprawling exhibition ‘Te Wheke: Pathways Across Oceania’,” Matthew Kerr writes in a review of the show for London-based at magazine, Apollo.

‘Te Wheke’ is on at Te Puna O Waiwhetū Christchurch Art Gallery from May 2020 to March 2022.

“Instead of centring European art, as many earlier models of art history are wont to do, the narrative of influence in ‘Te Wheke’ runs ‘in a different direction – from the Pacific outwards’, to use a phrase from the catalogue accompanying the exhibition,” Kerr writes.

“This reorientation offers an opportunity to emphasise the significance of Māori and Pasifika art both to the gallery’s collections and to the history of art in Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as to rethink the nostalgia and appropriative practices of white New Zealander artists.

“Consider Yuki Kihara’s photographs in the exhibition: self-portraits made in the aftermath of Cyclone Evan, which hit Sāmoa in 2012 … [they are an] explicit dialogue with European and colonial art history.”

Original article by Matthew Kerr, Apollo, August 12, 2020.

Photo by Yuki Kihara.

Tags: Apollo  Te Puna O Waiwhetū Christchurch Art Gallery  Te Wheke: Pathways Across Oceania  Yuki Kihara  

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