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Lisa Reihana

Lisa Reihana is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice spans film, sculpture, costume and body adornment, text and photography.

Since the 1990s she has significantly influenced the development of contemporary art and contemporary Māori art in Aotearoa New Zealand. She has earned an outstanding reputation as an artist, producer and cultural interlocutor with her attention to the complexities of contemporary photographic and cinema languages expressed in myriad ways. Her ability to harness and manipulate seductively high production values is often expressed through portraiture where she explores how identity and history are represented, and the intersection of these ideas with concepts of place and community.

Reihana represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale in 2017 with the large scale video installation in Pursuit of Venus [infected] (2015-17). The work premiered at the Auckland Art Gallery in May 2015 and has since become a seminal work in Aotearoa New Zealand’s art history canon. in Pursuit of Venus [infected] has since been shown around the world and garnered widespread critical acclaim.

Other notable solo exhibitions include Mai i te aroha, ko te aroha, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand (2008); Lisa Reihana: Digital Marae, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand (2007); and Native Portraits n.19897, Museo Laboratorio di Arte Contemporanea, Rome, Italy (2007).

Her work has featured in important group exhibitions nationally and internationally including Oceania, Royal Academy, London, England (2018); Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists, Te Papa Tongarewa: Wellington, New Zealand (2018); Tai Whetuki – House of Death Redux, The Walters Prize 2016, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland, New Zealand (2016); Suspended Histories, Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2013); Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, Plug In ICA, Winnipeg, Canada (2011); Global Feminisms, Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA (2007); and Paradise Now? Contemporary Art from the Pacific, Asia Society Museum, New York (2004).

In 2014 Reihana was awarded an Arts Laureate Award by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand, the Te Tohu Toi Ke Te Waka Toi Maori Arts Innovation Award from Creative New Zealand in 2015, and in 2018 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.