Is Ethnic Labelling of Māori Art Cultural Apartheid?

By Robert Hans George Jahnke.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The new millennium has seen a raft of contemporary Māori art exhibitions that have sought to capture the diverse nature of Contemporary Māori art including Korurangi New Māori art and Purangiaho: Seeing Clearly in 2001 among others. The paper reviews these exhibitions in relation to prior late twentieth century Māori art exhibitions including Choice and Kohia ko taiakaka anake -artists create new directions, art critic Keith Stewart’s review of the Korurangi exhibition, Professor Hirini Moko Mead’s criteria for validating Māori art and artists and the author’s paradigm for Māori art. The paper argues that the ethnic labelling of art is not cultural apartheid but an ideological construct born out of a desire to maintain self-autonomy and self-expression in the arts.

Keywords: Apartheid, Māori Art, Identity, Ethnicity, Orthodoxy

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.127-136. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.610MB).

Prof. Robert Hans George Jahnke

Head of the School of Māori Studies, Massey University, Palmerston North, Manawatu, New Zealand

Professor Robert Jahnke is currently the Head of Māori Studies at Massey University in Palmerston North New Zealand. He is both an educator and an artist whose work is represented in several major public collections in New Zealand. He is responsible for the creation of the Toiho ki Apiti program at Massey University in Palmerston North, which he coordinates, teaches and supervises. He also contributes to Māori visual culture as a writer. He recently completed a PhD entitled, ‘The house that Riwai built: a continuum of Maori Art’. Many of his ex-students are now working in galleries and museums while others are employed in tertiary institutions throughout the country.


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