1 Jan 2006

Macmillan Brown lecture 2, 2006

From The Macmillan Brown Lectures, 9:02 am on 1 January 2006

A tuakana-teina relationship: contemporary Maori and Pacific Art. Contemporary Pacific art has tended to be defined as art by New Zealand residents or New Zealanders of Pacific Islands, mainly Polynesian, origin or descent. But New Zealand is part of the Polynesian Triangle, Maori are Polynesians, and many Pakeha and Palangi identify strongly with their country's geographic location and the cultures indigenous to the region, and their art reflects this. The older sibling/younger sibling relationship between tangata whenua and tangata Pasifika has always been awkward. The world views and lived experiences, the histories and aspirations of Maori and Pacific Islanders in New Zealand are different and inform their contemporary art differently. Yet there are overlaps. The contemporary Pacific artists are, in a sense, shadowing a course that their Maori counterparts trod a generation earlier, and some younger artists whose parentage is Maori and Pacific Islands can relate to both cultural entities.