Kimiora Reihana-Te Momo

For My Indigeneity

Bachelor of Visual Arts Photography Documentary Indigeneity Indigenous Methodologies
AD21 Award
BC Collective Award and Toi Māia Award
For a student working with Indigenous Aotearoa/Pasifika Contexts and cultural contribution to mātauranga Māori and indigenous knowledge

To exist in a pākeha society as a minority, is to adapt as a way of survival

Home body is a re-imagination of what home means, and where it can be.

Going between my family home and community, I find a sense of belonging no matter where I am in South Auckland; navigating transitional architecture both in the community and in my home.

Mārire is reclaiming my indigeneity through tikanga and utu (the maintenance of balance and harmony within a society or even a household) and how these practices uphold my wairua (spirit), mana (spiritual force) and overall health, in times of struggle and chaos, when rest is needed.

Mārire references back to the Moana, a place of rest and calmness, a transitional space navigated by our tupuna.

This is For My Indigeneity.

My artwork speaks of my existence, in western society (South Auckland) and in Te Ao Māori. I work with Māori concepts of Manaakitanga, Whanaungatanga and Kotahitanga, while exploring the colours orange and blue, through an indigenous lens.

Home body focuses on my family home in South Auckland, the community that cares for me when I step out of the comfort of my home. I never feel far from home, as long as I am in South Auckland.

The colour orange for Māori is seen in idealizations of the fire deity, Mahuika; after escaping death from the near extinction of fire, and seeking refuge in Hine-kaikōmako amongst the kaikōmako trees, Mahuika adapted as a way of survival—many South Aucklanders descending from indigenous Moana ancestors, had to adapt to pākeha society.

Mārire—to be peaceful, quiet, fortunate and appeased—consists of spirituality, upholding my wairua (spirit), mana (spiritual force) and overall health; reclaiming my indigeneity through tikanga.

The colour blue is indigenous reclamation of both the colour and its depiction. In western art, blue usually expresses sadness. Through an indigenous lens however, blue relates to the ocean. For many Moana indigenous, we see waves and the ocean as a place of rest and calmness (mārire).