Mo'ui Tukuhausia

Artist: Kalisolaite 'Uhila
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Year: 2014
Researcher: Kelly Carmichael

Mo’ui tukuhausia provoked questions as to the nature of community and troubled stereotypes of community and belonging. In the two years between first performing the work and restaging it, homelessness amongst Polynesian men in particular, emerged as a pressing issue for Auckland and other urban centres in New Zealand. The art work gave voice to simmering social and racial tensions and became a catalyst for debate about not only the homeless, but also the vulnerability of many New Zealanders to the right-leaning government’s economic policies. The work is strongly located within a NZ and South Pacific context, but speaks vividly of the vulnerability of a global social underclass.

Kalisolaite ‘Uhila was invited to participate in a group exhibition at Te Tuhi titled 'What do you mean We?' that aimed to explore the psychology of prejudice. The performance was for two weeks. This performance was then nominated by an independent jury of curators and artists as one of four finalists for the Walters Prize. The performance was then recreated for a duration of three months. Both were very different locations and durations and as such engaged with different ways with the institutions, communities and urban environment.

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

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