Tautai

Tautai

Moana Legacy

Exhibition is now closed.

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Cora-Allan Wickliffe talks about the revival of Niuean hiapo is a tradition that will be passed onto her children and the next generations to come.

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Mereani Qalovakawasa connects with us from Melbourne during this time of uncertainty and disruption, which is the everyday reality for many people living with chronic illnesses or disabilities.

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Israel Randell explains the concept behind her mahi and how it encourages the viewer to look into their past.

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Ahsin Ahsin talks about reconnecting with his fellow artists and what people might take away from his work and the exhibition.

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Watch Naawie Tutugoro speak about her work in Moana Legacy and how she carries her ancestors with her in her everyday life – 531pi

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Rangituhia Hollis reflects on the lockdown as a catalyst for making and what it means to be part of the show.

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Naawie Tutugoro shares the story behind her work and her ongoing relationship with Tautai

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Opening Night Photo Gallery

Tautai Gallery Opening Night 2020

Check out the Opening Night photo gallery’s here!

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From kete and hiapo to MS Paint and neo-pop crocodiles, Tautai Gallery celebrates Pacific art in all its forms. – The Spinoff

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Watch Ahsin reflect on the realities of the arts sector and shares some wise words for budding artists – PMN Cook Islands

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Gallery Tour with John Campbell

Tautai Pacific Arts Trust has reopened as a space where people can not only see art but can do art.
Breakfast got a sneak peek at how it’s looking.

Read more

Hear more about our exhibition Moana Legacy from curator and artist Cora-Allan Wickliffe 

Read more

Moana Legacy: Ahsin Ahsin distills his imagination into his vibrant mural sized designs and multi-disciplinary practice

Read more

Talia Smith | Moana Legacy

Moana Legacy: Artist, writer, and curator Talia Smith illustrates the vā through her photographic-based practice

Read more

Israel Randell | Moana Legacy

Moana Legacy: Israel Randell’s creates spatial activations where one can experience Matauranga Māori

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Moana Legacy: Māori textile artist Gina Ropiha works primarily with found objects to convey her experience of indigneity

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Naawie Tutugoro | Moana Legacy

Moana Legacy: Waiheke-based artist Naawie Tutugoro uses pop-culture influences from childhood in her multi-media work

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Moana Legacy: Using unconventional methods of digital media, Rangi exhibits video and print works which are interactive and contemplative

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Moana Legacy: Mereani Qalovakawasa explores the complexities of living with Lupus and being a Pacific Islander

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Cora-Allan Wickliffe & Kelly Lafaiki | Moana Legacy

Moana Legacy: Sisters Cora-Allan and Kelly feature objects of memory that connect them to their grandfather

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Artists Spotlight: Cora-Allan Wickliffe

Moana Legacy curator and artist Cora-Allan Wickliffe shares her love for Niuean hiapo and the works she created with her sister Kelly Lafaiki in memory of their beloved late grandfather Vakaafi Lafaiki. The revival of Niuean hiapo is a tradition that will be passed onto her children and the next generations to come.


“It’s energy giving to me! Hiapo is a practise that fills me with energy, and I’m happy when I make it because my son enjoys watching me make my work. If I can have my little one sitting on my lap while I beat (hiapo), it’s a pretty good day!”

– Cora-Allan Wickliffe

Moana Legacy is on at Tautai Gallery till 18 September


Click here for more Cora-Allan!

For more information please email us
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Artist Spotlight: Mereani Qalovakawasa

Moana Legacy artist Mereani Qalovakawasa connects with us from Melbourne during this time of uncertainty and disruption, which is the everyday reality for many people living with chronic illnesses or disabilities. She hopes people will have an awakening of what’s possible within our community and realise that there are so many stories to tell!

“I share videos that share a bit of insight into my life and what it’s like living with a chronic illness called Lupus… I hope that when people watch it they can understand and also have this feeling of empathy for our situations as well.”

– Mereani Qalovakawasa

Moana Legacy is on at Tautai Gallery till 18 September


<< Stay tuned for more Artists Spotlights from Moana Legacy >>

For further information please email us
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Artist Spotlight: Israel Randell

Moana Legacy artist Israel Randell explains the concept behind her mahi and how it encourages the viewer to look into their past


“There is no shortage of inspiration in Aotearoa…being surrounded by it is quite a fertile space for me.”

– Israel Randell

Moana Legacy is on at Tautai Gallery till 18 September


<< Stay tuned for more Artists Spotlights from Moana Legacy >>

Click here for more Israel!

For further information please email us

Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Artist Spotlight: Ahsin Ahsin

Moana Legacy artist Ahsin Ahsin talks about reconnecting with his fellow artists and what people might take away from his work and the exhibition.

“… it’s quite bold, it’s a bit of a statement, it’s in your face…”

– Ahsin Ahsin

Moana Legacy is on at Tautai Gallery till 18 September


<< Stay tuned for more Artists Spotlights from Moana Legacy >>

Click here for more Ahsin!

For more information please email us

tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Naawie Tutugoro 531pi

<< Watch Naawie talanoa with 531pi >>

Naawie shares the message behind her work in Moana Legacy and how she carries her ancestors with her in her everyday life.

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“…the messages always come back to identity and how I move through the world as a brown woman…”

– Naawie Tutugoro


Naawie‘s work is on show in Moana Legacy at Tautai Gallery until September 18



See Naawie and her father Luc Tutugoro in conversation at Tautai First Fridays


Video by 531pi
Published online on 29 July 2020 (source)

For further information please email us
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Artist Spotlight: Rangituhia Hollis

Moana Legacy artist Rangituhia Hollis reflects on the lockdown as a catalyst for making and what it means to be part of this show.

“…for a long time we we’ve been pushed apart through western ways of thinking…and made to be separate when there are so many things that connect us.”

– Rangituhia Hollis

Moana Legacy is on at Tautai Gallery till 18 September


<< Stay tuned for more Artists Spotlights from Moana Legacy >>
Click here for more Rangi!

For further information please Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Artists Spotlight: Naawie Tutugoro

Moana Legacy artist Naawie Tutugoro shares the story behind her work and her ongoing relationship with Tautai 

“…looking at the form as an umbilical cord, how I can connect to those who have gone before me…”

– Naawie Tutugoro

Moana Legacy is on at Tautai Gallery till 18 September 


<< Stay tuned for more Artist Spotlights from Moana Legacy >>
Click here for more Naawie!

For further information please email us
Tautai.org  #tautai4lyfe

Moana Legacy Playlist


For further information please email us
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Opening Night Photo Gallery

On Friday July 3 we opened Tautai Gallery and made history together!

We welcomed the community into our gallery for the first time with inaugural opening exhibition Moana Legacy.

Check out the Opening Night photo gallery’s below!

Our new expanded space was officially opened by Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, The Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern alongside a host of speakers including Founding Patron Fatu Feu’u, Representatives from Ngati Whatua and Creative New Zealand and our Board. We also acknowledge the attendance of The Right Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Curated by Cora-Allan Wickliffe, Moana Legacy marks a moment in the history of Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust opening its first gallery space.

Featuring artists: Ahsin Ahsin, Cora-Allan Wickliffe & Kelly Lafaiki, Gina Ropiha , Israel Randell, Mereani Qalovakawasa, Naawie Tutugoro, Rangituhia Hollis and Talia Smith


“This is a new chapter for Tautai, a historical moment in which we are honouring our heritage and moving forward together”


– Courtney Sina Meredith



All Photos by Isoa Kavakimotu


Moana Legacy is on at Tautai Gallery till September 18
Gallery Hours: 11am – 4pm


For further information please email us
Tautai.org  #tautai4lyfe

From the moana to K Road

From the moana to K Road: A new Auckland home for artists of the Pacific

From kete and hiapo to MS Paint and neo-pop crocodiles, Tautai Gallery celebrates Pacific art in all its forms.

Written by Gareth Shute for The Spinoff. 7 July 2020

Neo-Pop Artist Ahsin Ahsin in front of his work at Moana Legacy, the opening exhibition of Tautai Gallery (PHOTO: GARETH SHUTE)

After three decades in existence, Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust has launched its own gallery on Auckland’s Karangahape Road.

The first thing that hits you entering Tautai Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, Moana Legacy, is the range of works on show. On one huge wall is a mural of black humanoid crocodiles on a pink background by neo-pop artist Ahsin Ahsin (Atiu, Aitutaki), while the wall opposite has an illustrated hiapo (Niuean tapa cloth) made using traditional methods by Cora-Allan Wickliffe (Ngāpuhi, Tainui, Alofi and Liku) and her sister Kelly Lafaiki. 

Elsewhere, a specially constructed frame holds ghostly photographs by Talia Smith (Cook Islands, Samoan and New Zealand European) and these sit across hangings of tiny, intricate kete made by Gina Ropiha (Ngāti Kahungunu/Ngāti Kere, Ngāti Raukawa/Ngāti Rakau) from her own hair, while around a corner a dark corridor is filled by an installation of neon blue tubes created by Israel Randell (Tainui, Ngāti Kahungunu).

Jacinda Ardern sepaking at the Opening of Tautai Gallery (PHOTO: GARETH SHUTE)

Tautai founding patron Fatu Feu’u sees this gallery space as the eventual end point of work that he began over 30 years ago. In the 80s, he recalls Colin McCahon saying to him that the New Zealand art world was waiting for Pacific artists to make a serious contribution. The history of progress during the intervening years is evident all around you at Tautai.

Wickliffe’s work is an example of this. She speaks of the influence of legendary NZ Niuean artist John Pule and how their families both came from the same village in Niue. His work proved that the imagery of hiapo had a place in fine art and her work takes the logic one step further – his work was on canvas, while her hiapo are created using traditional materials and patterns. By bringing hiapo out of the museums and into a gallery space, Wickliffe pushes forward the argument for their place in the contemporary artistic conversation. 

Wickliffe took this notion further in her introductory speech for the opening exhibition (which she curated). Pointing to one work, she told the audience it was an unfinished work dedicated to her grandfather who passed away last year. She then proceeded to “complete” the work by painting thick strokes of black paint over the face of the piece, erasing the illustrations and thereby evocatively expressing her loss, while the audience watched on in shocked silence. 

Cora-Allan Wickliffe “Completed” this work at the opening of the exhibition by painting thick strokes of black paint over it (PHOTO: GARETH SHUTE)



Many of the artists on display in the opening exhibition also took part in Tautai’s groundbreaking show in Naarm/Melbourne last year, so the return to Auckland had a sense of homecoming. For Ahsin Ahsin, the trip was his first involvement with Tautai and he found it refreshing to connect with other artists from a Pacific background without any pressure to perform their culture in their art.

“I got to hang out with brown artists, which is quite rare for me. I’m based in Hamilton and there’s not many brown artists in the art community… It’s just about self-expression. I’m from the Pacific so that makes it Pacific art, but I do what I do.”

Ahsin Ahsin



In the future, Ahsin hopes to collaborate with another artist who showed at both exhibitions, Rangituhia Hollis (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu), since they both also create digital work. Hollis’s advanced digital imagery had its own juxtapositions within the current exhibition: firstly with three charcoal/painted works he created to sit alongside them, but also in contrast with the videos created by Brisbane-born Fijian artist Mereani Qalovakawasa, which purposefully use the simplistic software of MS Paint to add a primacy to her work about life with a chronic illness (lupus). 

Hollis was among four artists with Māori heritage in the show (making up half the participants), which reflects Tautai’s recognition of moana nui a kiwa – that all Pacific peoples derive from the same ocean. Hollis says he got a huge amount from being involved in the Tautai exhibition in Naarm/Melbourne, since it also involved trips to local galleries hosted by indigenous curators and opportunities to examine the Pasifika collection at the museums. He is equally impressed by the open, expansive layout of the new gallery:

“I think the utilisation of the space is amazing. I’ve seen it in other forms when it was Artspace and the Film Archive. Artspace had a lot of storage space but this seems to be space for people, not storage for archived items.”

Naawie Tutugoro next to her work, which used bent hair curlers to create a lei (PHOTO: GARETH SHUTE)

Naawie Tutugoro (Kanak and Anglo-Argentinian/European) is one emerging artist involved in Moana Legacy who understands how far Tautai has come to get to this stage. Her father, Luke Tutugoro, was involved with Tautai from its inception and when she was a child he enlisted her to paint the garage of their Grey Lynn villa with nuclear-free messages as part of a Tautai-led campaign. She therefore appreciates the gravity of having her work on display on the opening night.

“It feels like tonight we are planting a tree that is going to be very sacred for the generations to come. I feel very lucky to be opening this space and have work that instigates that.”

– Naawie Tutugoro


The Moana Legacy exhibition is open until September 18.

Written by Gareth Shute for The Spinoff (source)
Published online on Tuesday July 7, 2020

For further information please email us
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Ahsin Ahsin x PMN Cook Islands

<< Watch Ahsin talanoa with PMN Cook Islands >>

Ahsin reflects on the realities of the arts sector and shares some wise words for budding artists

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“…it’s harder for us to enter those realms but some of us can get in there and its good when we’re in there, we can inspire others, ‘Come this way, i’ll show you’…”

– Ahsin Ahsin


Ahsin‘s work is on show in Moana Legacy at Tautai Gallery until September 18


Video by PMN Cook Islands
Published online on 7 July 2020 (source)

For further information please email us
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Gallery Tour with John Campbell

Tautai Pacific Arts Trust has reopened on K Road

A wise man once said, “great art feeds a family for generations”.
That man is Fatu Feu’u ONZM, the founder of Tautai, New Zealand’s leading pacific arts organisation.
The Tautai Pacific Arts Trust has now reopened in the city as a space where people can not only see art but can do art.

Breakfast got a sneak peek at how it’s looking.



More information:
Moana Legacy, 6 July – 18 September at Tautai Gallery

Meet the Artists of Moana Legacy: Ahsin Ahsin, Cora-Allan Wickliffe and Kelly Lafaiki, Rangituhia Hollis, Gina Ropiha, Israel Randell, Mereani Qalovakawasa, Naawie Tutugoro

For further information please Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Tautai Gallery’s first curator


“It’s really important our community shows up for us. Without them what’s the purpose of having our work?”

– Cora-Allan Wickliffe


Hear more about our opening exhibition Moana Legacy from curator and artist Cora-Allan Wickliffe 
We can’t wait to share this epic exhibition with you all!

Moana Legacy is on at Tautai Gallery till September 18
Gallery Hours: 11am – 4pm


Meet the Artists of Moana Legacy HERE

For further information please email us.
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Moana Legacy: Ahsin Ahsin

Meet the Artist: Ahsin Ahsin 

Ahsin distills his imagination into his mural sized designs and multi-disciplinary practice  

Ahsin’s work is in Moana Legacy at Tautai Gallery
6 July – 18 September, 2020

Tāmaki-born Cook Island artist Ahsin Ahsin (Aitu, Aitutaki) distills his imagination into fantastic creatures, sigils, graffiti-marking and gestures suspended in hyperspace. Influenced by sci-fi films, street art and pop culture of the 80s & 90s, Ahsin communicates the notions of neo-pop in his mural sized designs and multi-disciplinary practice. 

Ashin Ashin Tautai
Artist in Naarm, Melbourne 2019

Working between Kirikiriroa (Hamilton, Aotearoa) and Naarm (Melbourne, Australia), Ahsin has exhibited extensively throughout Aotearoa in international shows. Most recently, participating in the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Centre Project – Te Whāinga: A Culture Lab on Civility at Silo Park as well as his exhibition ‘Neon Utopia’ at the Tauranga Art Gallery as part of the international show ‘Mega World’. 

“My contribution to Moana Legacy is a mural of my crocodile characters, that I have been creating for a while now. They stemmed from an interest in ancient Greek/Roman vase paintings.”

– Ahsin Ahsin, 2020

Community, 2019

Ahsin Online
Website: ahsinahsin.com | Instagram: @ushy_ushy

More Information:
Moana Legacy, 6 July – 18 September 2020

For further information please email us.
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Moana Legacy: Talia Smith

Meet the Artist: Talia Smith

Artist, writer, and curator Talia Smith illustrates the vā through her photographic-based practice

Talia’s work is in Moana Legacy at Tautai Gallery
6 July – 18 September, 2020

Living and working on Gadigal & Darug land (Sydney, Australia), Talia Smith is a Taranaki-born artist, writer and curator who explores themes central to her Moana heritage through photographic and moving image mediums. As a second-generation Aotearoa-born indigenous woman, much of her practice explores the investigation of intangible space that those of similar backgrounds can exist and occupy.

Talia Smith Tautai
Surfacing, 2020 | Talia Smith

Talia has been recognised for her curatorial practice by multiple Australian arts institutions including Firstdraft’s emerging curator for 2017 and Artbank’s emerging curator for 2018. As an artist she has exhibited widely in Australia and Aotearoa. In 2020, she is ‘the churchie’ curator for the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane and has completed the AIR_Frankfurt Program,as curator-in-residence with Basis in Frankfurt, Germany.

Her contribution to Moana Legacy ‘Surfacing’ is a photographic installation based her Masters of Fine Arts research that explores the tenuous link between past, present and future. A stripped back frame adorned with dreamy images from her multiple homelands – her ancestral homeland of the Cook Islands, her current home in Sydney and her birth home Aotearoa.

“Exploring my lived experience of being Cook Island, Sāmoan and New Zealand European, this work looks to explore how the vā can be used as a space for those of a Moana heritage to create their identities outside of Western structures, a place where time is not linear and we are informed by ours and our ancestors experiences.”

– Talia Smith, Moana Legacy Artist

Talia Smith Tautai
Image Courtesy of Artist

Talia Online
Instagram: @edithcollier | Artist’s Website: talia-smith.com

More Information:
Moana Legacy, 6 July – 18 September

For further information please email us.
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Moana Legacy: Israel Randell

Meet the Artist: Israel Randell

An artist creating spatial activations where one can experience Matauranga Māori

Israel’s work is in Moana Legacy at Tautai Gallery
6 July – 18 September, 2020

Israel Randell is a multi-disciplinary artist of Cook Island (Rarotonga) and Māori (Tainui, Ngāti Kahungunu) descent, who explores the notions of innovation as tradition through installations, performances and spatial activations.

Israel Randell Tautai
Artist Israel Randell | Photo by Marijke de Jong

Israel’s work often activates dormant spaces within urban landscapes as a way to expose communities to new ways of thinking. Her practice is underpinned by cosmological theories of space and the parallels found in her Pasifika and Māori culture.

Born in the Waikato region, Israel attended Hungry Creek Art School in Tāmaki Makaurau before moving to Toi Moana (Bay of Plenty) with her young family. Most recently, she was the Supreme Award winner at the 2020 Tauranga Art Gallery, Miles Art Awards.

“Randell works with light and its adversary – dark. Her sculptural light forms create a space where one can experience Matauranga Māori (knowledge)”

Cora-Allan Wickliffe, Curator, Moana Legacy

Israel Randell Tautai
Ake ake ake (whakareretanga), 2020 | Israel Randell

Israel Online
Instagram: @israelrandell |
Podcast: Making Waves Podcast | Postcards Unlocked

More Information:
Moana Legacy, 6 July – 18 September 2020

For further information please email us.
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Moana Legacy: Gina Ropiha

Meet the Artist: Gina Ropiha

A Māori textile artist that works primarily with found objects to convey her experience of indigneity

Gina’s work is in Moana Legacy at Tautai Gallery
6 July 3 – 18 September 2020

Gina Ropiha (Ngāti Kahungunu/Ngāti Kere, Ngāti Raukawa/Ngāti Rakau) is a practising artist who hails from Heretaunga (Hastings) and is based in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia). Working primarily with found and repurposed objects, Ropiha’s art reflects her experience addressing the harsh realities and tests of living as an indigenous woman within colonised lands, while trying to maintain a sense of Māoritanga (Māori culture) and grace.

Gina Rophia Tautai
Artist Gina Ropiha

Rophia has exhibited internationally and was an Artist in Residence at the Australian Tapestry Workshop 2017. She is active member of Motu Taim (formerly Pacific Women’s Weaving Circle) and has been a teacher and tutor in arts education for 19 years.

Featuring works with her actual hair in the exhibition, Gina has gently woven kete as a tribute to Wurundjeri artist Georgia MacGuire. The use of hair was a means of expressing the regret, sorrow and grief felt when witnessing Georgia’s story.

Gina Rophia Tautai
Ka ora ai te iwi (2020) | Gina Rophia

Gina Online:
Instagram: @ginaropiha

More Information
Moana Legacy, 6 July – 18 September 2020

For further information please email us
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Moana Legacy: Naawie Tutugoro

Meet the Artist: Naawie Tutugoro

Creating site-specific works that illuminate negotiations of place and space specific to the urban Pasifika experience.

Naawie’s work is in Moana Legacy at Tautai Gallery
6 July – 18 September, 2020

Naawie Tutugoro
Artist at Blak Dot Gallery in Naarm, Melbourne 2019

Born to a Kanak father and Anglo-Argentinian/European mother, Naawie Tutugoro is a Tāmaki Makaurau-born multi-disciplinary artist. Her practice comprises of site-specific works that illuminate negotiations of place and space specific to the urban Pasifika experience.

Tutugoro is currently living on Waiheke island, and has exhibited throughout Tāmaki Makaurau. Most recently, she collaborated with her friend and sculptor Jenny Takahasi Palmer on the exhibition ‘*subtleRESPECT’ at Window Gallery and is currently completing her Master of Fine Arts at ELAM.

“Hair discrimination and invisibility has been something I have become aware of growing up with afro hair.”

– Naawie Tutugoro, 2020

Growing up, especially as women, we are bombarded with contradicting desires and messages regarding beauty standards and self-acceptance. The idea of taming one’s hair is assimilation in practice, altering oneself to fit into the mould of what is considered acceptable.

“Bendy Rollers”, are a product used to alter the texture/style or hair speaking to ideas of cultural appropriation and fetishisation of black and brown bodies. By re-purposing the curlers as connections of a lei, Naawie dismantles the meanings attached to the material and in a decolonising act, the lei of hair curlers is transformed into an imagined umbilical cord to the spirit world.

Naawie Tutugoto
Naawie’s installation at Blak Dot Gallery in Naarm, Melbourne

Naawie Online
Instagram: @astonishing_coco_puff

More Information:
Moana Legacy, 6 July – 18 September 2020

For further information please email us
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Moana Legacy: Rangituhia Hollis

Meet the Artist: Rangituhia Hollis

Using unconventional methods of digital media, Rangi exhibits video and print works which are interactive and contemplative

Rangi’s work is in Moana Legacy at Tautai Gallery
6 July – 18 September, 2020

Rangitihua Hollis Tautai
Rangitihua Hollis. Across the Face of the Moon. 2019

“…Maybe in a few million years I’ll still be here to hear that star answer back. Somewhere still standing with you, still there above and roaring, well above, at the apex of all things, seeing our flaming sun dim above a dying world…”

– Excerpt from Across the Face of the Moon (2019)



Rangituhia Hollis (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu) is an artist, writer and educator. His practice employs a range of collaborative strategies, often resulting in large-scale digital animation video works or interactive social engagement projects that explore Aotearoa’s postcolonial context. He often develops work using emerging or unconventional technologies. He has exhibited throughout Aotearoa in leading public museums and galleries.

Rangituhia Hollis Tautai
Artist Rangituhia Hollis

Rangi Online
Artists Website: rangituhia.com | Instagram: @rangituhia

More Information:
Moana Legacy, 6 July – 18 September 2020

For further information please email us
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Moana Legacy: Mereani Qalovakawasa

Meet the Artist: Mereani Qalovakawasa

Mereani explores the complexities of living with Lupus and being a Pacific Islander

Mereani’s work is in Moana Legacy at Tautai Gallery
6 July – 18 September, 2020

Mereani Qalovakawasa Tautai 2019
Artists Talk at Blak Dot Gallery, Naarm as part of exhibition ‘the spACE betWEen us’, 2019.


Brisbane-born Fijian artist Mereani Qalovakawasa uses her multidisciplinary practice to shed light on living with a chronic illness. Sharing her personal experiences living with the autoimmune disease – lupus, she aims to reduce the fear and shame of being sick, particularly in Pasifika communities.

In 2018, Qalovakawasa participated in her first exhibition with New Wayfinders called ‘Ocean Stories From Home’ at Connection Art Space, this will be her first time exhibiting in Aotearoa. 

Mereani’s illness and the experiences it brings to her life spark her use of online and computer-based media works. Filming on an old Big W camera, drawing using MS Paint and editing on MovieMaker, she depicts her own legacy through sharing the timeline of her health. These small clips give an intimate part of her journey through chemo and the battles she faces daily.

Pacific people are often depicted as the image of vibrant health and beauty, physically strong and joyful, glowing brown skin, thick hair, skilled athletes and graceful dancers, laughing in the hot sun. My life isn’t bad, it’s just different from most people. I try to make life with a chronic illness as pleasant as I can. I find joy in making films to share a glimpse of my life.”

– Mereani Qalovakawasa, 2020

Mereani Qalovakawasa Tautai
Mereani Qalovakawasa, ‘Sick of It’ (2019). Installation View.


Mereani Online:
Instagram: @mereanitarau | YouTube: Mereani Qalovakawasa

More Information:
Moana Legacy, 6 July – 18 September 2020


For further information please email us.
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Moana Legacy: Cora-Allan Wickliffe & Kelly Lafaiki

Meet the Artists: Cora-Allan Wickliffe & Kelly Lafaiki

A sister collab that features objects of memory that connect them to their grandfather 

Cora-Allan and Kelly’s work is in Moana Legacy at Tautai Gallery
6 July – 18 September, 2020

Originally from Waitakere, Cora-Allan Wickliffe (Ngāpuhi, Tainui, Alofi and Liku) is a multi-disciplinary artist and curator, who likes to examine and explore representations of Indigenous people through her work. Her sister Kelly Lafaiki, based in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia) is a student of hiapo and has helped to collaborate on the exhibition piece.

Cora-Allan Wickliffe Kelly Lafaiki Tautai
Artists Cora-Allan Wickliffe and Kelly Lafaiki

Exploring themes of ceremony and memory we are re-tracing using silhouetted objects filled with the language of hiapo to share stories of Niue that were passed down at the food table from our grandparents.

Stories of Niue, dances, mena kai and songs were shared throughout our childhood in comfortable and often uncomfortable moments of learning dances and how to cook traditional dishes.

“Our grandparents guided us with stern voices when we were young but grew softer as we all aged. Time spent together over meals and over beers became an environment of admiration and learning.”

Cora-Allan Wickliffe, 2019

These moments would tie them to becoming hiapo makers and this current work explores the moments of mourning they experienced with the passing of their Grandfather Vakaafi Lafaiki in April 2019.

As a contemporary practitioner of hiapo (Niuean barkcloth), Wickliffe has revived a sleeping artform. Her work is very important to her community and has been exhibited in Australia, Aotearoa, England and Niue. Currently, Wickliffe is the curator and exhibitions manager at Corbans Estate Arts Centre.

Cora-Allan Wickliffe & Kelly Lafaiki Tautai
Our Last Supper With You, 2019

Cora-Allan Online
Website: cora-allan.co.nz | Instagram: @coraallan.wickliffe

Kelly Lafaiki Online
Instagram: @dannykelly8567

More Information:
Moana Legacy @ Tautai Gallery, 6 July – 18 September 2020

For further information please email us.
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

Exhibition: Moana Legacy

Moana Legacy

Multi-disciplinary show that heralds Tautai’s new space

6th July – 18th September, 2020 
Tautai Gallery  Mon – Fri 11am – 4pm

Moana Legacy is Tautai’s first exhibition in its new gallery space, the show has been developed from an existing partnership with Blak Dot Gallery, Naarm (Melbourne) featuring moana artists working in both Aotearoa and Australia. Continuing the conversation in Tautai’s new expanded space in the heart of Auckland, this show offers up assorted approaches to the idea of legacy.

As artists of the moana, one often looks back to move forward, contemplating the connections to ancestors and finding a place within a narrative that is as deep as the ocean itself. Our ancestors left behind stories of legend with impressive characters, some continue to shape our contemporary stories of today. 

A legacy is the story of someone’s life, it is something that a person leaves behind to be remembered. Legacies are pathways that guide people with their own decision-making – inspiring them to build a legacy of their own.

With this in mind, the artists in this exhibition investigate notions of legacy  and their link to the moana. Featuring photography, installation, video, sculpture, hiapo and painting, Moana Legacy is a celebration of our own legacies and what it means to be an artist of the Pacific

Curated by Cora-Allan Wickliffe, this show features Ahsin Ahsin, Cora-Allan Wickliffe & Kelly Lafaiki, Gina Ropiha, Israel Randell, Mereani Qalovakawasa, Naawie Tutugoro, Rangituhia Hollis and Talia Smith.

Moana Legacy runs from 6 July – 18 September, 2020.


Moana Legacy has now ended.



For further information please email us 
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

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