• Jimmy Ma’ia’i

The neighbourhood of Avondale in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is known for being a hub for Pacific peoples and cultures. Jimmy Ma’ia’i lives in the area, and its unique sights, sounds and public life merge as references in his artworks.

Ma’ia’i is interested in Avondale’s inherent contrasts; such as its mix of residential and community spaces with light industry, and its long-standing, working-class Pacific communities with a new, creeping gentrification – a trend which is making the neighbourhood’s housing unaffordable for many Pacific people. Ma’ia’i utilises found objects and synthetic materials that are familiar to his surroundings, yet references to tapa and fa’i acknowledge lineages to artmaking and traditional cultural practices of the South Pacific. These materials also operate as a pointed reference to problems experienced by working-class Pacific people in their day to day life in Aotearoa. Outlining deliberate and rife wage depression amongst industries that employ many Pacific people, and rising housing costs which are gradually displacing Pacific people from neighbourhoods like Avondale house by house, street by street.

Jimmy Ma’ia’i

Jimmy Ma’ia’i is an installation artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland whose practice utilises found objects and materials, and the readymade. Of Sāmoan and Scottish descent, Ma’ia’i draws upon mixed-heritage experiences, cultural dislocation and the impact of colonisation in his artworks. Recent exhibitions include Spring Time is Heart-break: Contemporary Art in Aotearoa, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū (2023-24) and Ocean of Whispers, Enjoy Contemporary Art Space (2022-23).

Opening Hours

  • Tuesday-Friday, 11am–5pm
  • Saturday, 11am–3pm


  • 16 Dowling Street
  • Ōtepoti, Dunedin