Mahiriki Tangaroa – Moana Blue, Open Ed. Print.


Mahiriki Tangaroa, Moana Blue. Open ed. print on archival paper, 210 × 297mm, unframed. Signed & titled.

Through her art, curating, and advocacy, Mahiriki Tangaroa challenges artists and audiences to consider the impacts of neo-colonialism. “The arrival of Christianity in the Cook Islands brought great changes in the arts.The acceptability of decorating functional objects for ceremonial purposes managed to survive, but the making of figurative gods, tattooing, and tapa-making ceased almost completely. Elimination of these practices destroyed evidence of [Cook Islands] artistic history and is one of the main contributing factors to the absence of certain designs, symbols, and motifs in the art produced today.”

These concerns fuel her artistic practice. By re-constructing customary symbols interspersed with tapa or pareu patterns, she draws attention to the progression of contemporary Cook Islands culture and the evolving nature of identity.