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August 5, 2023 @ 10:00 am – August 26, 2023 @ 4:00 pm
Hulita Koloi, Malaki Peter Lakisoe Aiono, Ana Garcia, Llenyd Price and Ken Khun.
5 – 26 August 2023
Material Instinct explores the intersecting practices of Hulita Koloi, Malaki Peter Lakisoe Aiono, Ana Garcia, Llenyd Price and Ken Khun. Materiality plays a significant role in our cultural identities; the versatility that comes from materials can give rise to new meanings which we bestow onto them, forever changing how one reads many daily objects in relation to their original function.
Some of the works reflect the artists’ personal realms, whilst others approach experiences of communal environments. The artists in this show approach materials in their own distinct manner, yet they each focus on how these materials reflect rich histories; histories which are subject to change through the manipulation and subtraction of context at the hands of the artist. Altering materials in this way disrupts traditional readings of what an object or surface signified in its original context–there is a confrontation which arises from this loss of intended function. The works of Khun, Koloi, Garcia, Price and Aiono contain remnant qualities of that which they once represented, not quite the same as they once were.
The artists acknowledge Depot Artspace’s rich history in Te Hau Kapua – Devonport. It is connected to the mainland but feels almost distant and detached, at once part of the city while also at a remove; something which will be reflected in each practice here. Each artist resides in Aotearoa yet experiences this sense of semi-displacement in finding their steps here–a sense of community and belonging is what brings all five artists together.
About the Artists
Ana Garcia is a multidisciplinary artist of Filipino descent seeking to form an ātea through her practice for both migrants and non-migrants alike: a clearing or space for conversation and understanding. Through a process of re-presentation, Ana uses found objects and archived materials from her family’s migrant life to unpack the mundane moments and intergenerational experiences that shape one’s cultural identity.
Hulita Koloi is a recent MFA graduate from Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design. Hulita was born in the Kingdom of Tonga but has grown up in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Her work celebrates community, the collective effort of gathering, and the individuals who surround her. Her works are experientially substantial; playing off of communal structures, working with friends, family and colleagues. Hulita’s work crosses over material complexities within her work often disrupting their intended design, reimagining them within the gallery space.
Ken Khun’s practice investigates the intersecting terrains of Eastern and Western cultures, floating in-between what is known as ‘the hyphen’. Within these multiple complexities, Ken is interested in constructing environments that subvert the Western ‘spectacle’ through disruptive strategies and ‘‘culture-jamming”, highlighting his experiences while navigating within these spaces.
Llenyd Price deals with issues concerning land in Aotearoa (New Zealand). Through an internal questioning of self-identity, Llenyd has continued to explore their position in relation to the landscape of Aotearoa. Interested in the native bush in Kirikiriroa often found scattered alongside building construction zones which edge into the natural ecosystems and sections of farm-land riparian.
Malaki Peter Lakisoe Aiono is a New Zealand-born Samoan artist who works with found material from around Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland. Raised with principles such as value, waste and gratitude instilled in him by his grandparents Malaki looks to explore the relationships between disparate objects spread throughout Tamaki Makaurau and what meaning can become of piecing them together once they begin communicating with one another.