About the Artist

Lisa Reihana is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice examines how the representation of history. The subjects of Reihana’s portraiture inhabit a world in which past, present, and future are mutable; and where identities are unfixed and transgress expectations of social norms. “Her staged interpretations of Māori concepts and art forms have become signature works, representing a considered and personal translation of Māori cultural values and aesthetics and an expression of the dichotomy of her urban Māori experience”. (1)

Reihana l represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale in 2017 with the large scale video installation in Pursuit of Venus [infected] (2015-17). Her filmed vignettes populate a neo-classical French wallpaper, Les Sauvages De La Mer Pacifique. Amongst the images of the South Seas idyll portrayed in the original, the imperial gaze is turned back on itself by including cultural practices and first contact narratives to reveal sexual exploitation and gender fluidity. in Pursuit of Venus [infected] premiered at the Auckland Art Gallery in May 2015, and has garnered widespread critical acclaim.

Born in 1964, Lisa Reihana is of Ngāpuhi descent. She graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1987, and completed a Master of Design at Unitec Institute of Technology. Reihana has an extensive exhibition history in New Zealand and abroad. This year she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit,  in 2014 she was awarded an Arts Laureate Award by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. 

1. Megan Tamati Quennell, Curator, Modern and Contemporary Māori and Indigenous Art, Te Papa. Retrieved from https://isea2011.sabanciuniv.edu/.reihana. Accessed 4/2/16.