Ngatai Taepa

Tribal Affiliations: Te Arawa, Te Āti Awa and Pākehā ancestry .

Taepa was born in Upper Hutt, Wellington in 1976. He now lives and works in Palmerston North.
Taepa's interest in the visual arts began while attending Te Aute college in Napier. He had the privilege of observing and assisting with the making of kōwhaiwhai panels for meeting house Te Whare o Rangi under the guidance of art teacher Mark Dashper. He continued studying art at Massey University, Palmerston North with lecturers Robert Jahnke, Kura Te Waru Rewiri and Shane Cotton. Taepa completed his Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts in 2000, and his Masters in Māori Visual Arts in 2003 and is now a lecturer in the Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts programme.

In 2000 Taepa was elected onto Te Ātinga, the Visual Arts Committee within the Māori arts organisation Toi Māori Aotearoa. Taepa's involvement with different Toi Māori hui has created experiences of interaction with many artists from New Zealand and cultures throughout the Pacific. He sees these interactions as an important part of his creative process.

His current practice includes installation works which look at contemporary issues within New Zealand society, as well as paintings that are fueled by a childhood fascination with kōwhaiwhai .


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