• Lisa Reihana

Lisa Reihana (b.1964, Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau. Ngāpuhi-Ngāti Hine-Ngāi Tū-Te Auru) is among the most renowned contemporary artists from Aotearoa. Reihana expertly weaves together numerous threads drawn from western museology, archives, and history with the tikanga, mātauranga, and whakapapa of te ao Māori. Her extraordinary multidisciplinary practice encompasses video, photography, sculpture, and costume to question the ways in which identity and history are constructed, represented, and re-represented, and the conceptualisation of place and community.

Bringing together a diverse body of work made over several decades, Outakes acknowledges a particular aspect of the creative process; whereby numerous images and sequences are necessarily set adrift through the art of editing in the construction of narrative. Here, previously unseen stills and photographs are shown alongside more familiar series. Within this context Reihana breathes new mauri into these ‘outtakes’, demonstrating the artist’s creative kaupapa and ability to create engaging works in a perpetual state of whakarerekē.

A suite of lightboxes features hyper-bold images stylistically reminiscent of Ridley Scott’s cult 1982 film Blade Runner, extracted from Reihana’s dual-channel video Ihi (2020); an ambitious retelling of the Māori creation stories of Papatūānuku and Tāne. These are accompanied by three haunting stills from the evocative video installation Tai Whetuki - House of Death Redux (2015). Filmed at Karekare, a site where histories of war and death are embedded in the landscape, the work examines cultural practices pertaining to death, mourning, and the transition of the spirit, as goddess Hine-nui-te-pō guides the dead through the underworld where tangata and whenua are inextricably entwined.

Outakes positions those critical and creative energies inherent in both art and life – not in opposition to one another – but rather as part of a wider cyclical process of destruction and regeneration. “This feminine quality that births us, also guides us at death”, notes Reihana, who regularly casts wahine as protagonists in her storytelling, exploring the role and representation of women within cultural and art historical contexts. In an exuberant nod to western art history and the mythology of the white male artist, Reihana presents a brightly coloured series of Andy Warhol-esque style posters that tautoko the artist's Ngā Hau e Wha / The Four Winds (2009). This series occupies its own space in the gallery and features the artist’s iramutu and nieces as the wind goddesses te hau raki (northerly), te hau rāwhiti (easterly), te hau-ā-uru (westerly), and te hau tonga (southerly), adorned in contemporary kakahu from the collection of Te Papa Tongarewa.

Reihana has an extensive exhibition history in Aotearoa and further afield. In 2017 she represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale with her large-scale video installation In Pursuit of Venus [infected] (2015-17), which reimagines Dufour et Cie’s 19th century wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique / The native peoples of the Pacific Ocean. Other exhibitions include Unnatural History, Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry (2021); Toi Tu Toi Ora Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki: Auckland (2020); In the Shadow of Venus - Lisa Reihana and PacificTaonga, MARKK Museum am Rothemburg, Hamburg (2020) Nirin Sydney Biennale Cockatoo Island: Sydney (2020); Southern Transmissions: Contemporary Video Art From Oceania, Duolun Museum of Modern Art Centre, Shanghai (2020); Leaving the Echo Chamber Sharjah Biennale 14, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE (2019); Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists, Auckland Art Gallery - Toi o Tamaki: Auckland(2019); Oceania, Royal Academy, London, England (2018); Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists, Te Papa Tongarewa: Wellington (2018); Tai Whetuki – House of Death Redux, The Walters Prize 2016, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland (2016); Suspended Histories, Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam (2013); Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, Plug InICA, Winnipeg (2011); Global Feminisms, Brooklyn Museum, New York (2007); and Paradise Now? Contemporary Art from the Pacific, Asia Society Museum, New York (2004).

Reihana has been the recipient of numerous awards, residencies, and public commissions. Recent commissions include a monumental moving-image work that overlooks the central atrium of the AGNSW’s new contemporary gallery Sydney Modern. GROUNDLOOP imagines a future where the ocean is a superhighway connecting Indigenous voyagers and ancestral stories from Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. In 2022 she was Artist in Focus for Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts, she received an Arts Laureate Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand (2014), Te Tohu Toi Ke Te Waka Toi Maori Arts Innovation Award from Creative NewZealand (2015), and is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2018). Her works are held in private and public collections including Te Papa Tongarewa; Auckland Art Gallery; Australia National Gallery; Staatliche Museum, Berlin; Susan O'Connor Foundation, Texas; Brooklyn Museum, New York; LACMA, Los Angeles; AGO, Toronto; de Young Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco; and Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Reihana has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts (1987) and a Master of Design from School of Visual Art and Design, Unitec Institute of Technology (2014). Reihana is a core member of the Pacific Sisters, an indigenous collective that emerged out of Auckland in the 1990s, and which brought the lives of a New Zealand–born Pacific generation into the mainstream through fashion and performance.

Opening Hours

  • Tuesday - Friday 10am-5pm
  • Saturday 10am-4pm


  • 42 Victoria Street
  • Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington, 6011