Spanning moving image, photography and performance, Te Ao creates work that responds to Māori paradigms, testing the implications of alternative creative, social and linguistic models in relation to the moving image and other performative practices. Te Ao is creating a major new photographic commission for Tauranga Art Gallery’s atrium which departs from his predominantly black and white palette, translating these concerns into monumental full colour.
Spread across two spaces, the exhibition also includes Te Ao’s notable 2020 moving image work Ka Mua, Ka Muri, which was originally co-commissioned by Remai Modern and Oakville Galleries, Canada. The title of the work is derived from a whakatauki (proverb) often cited as a guiding principle within Māori ideology. Meaning “to walk backwards into the future," it suggests that time exists on a continuum where past, present and future co-exist and are tied together through ancestry and action.