Ioane Ioane

Ioane Ioane, Te Kura Nui from Nine heavens, 2022

Nikau palm sheaths, dry broad windmill palm, totara, harakeke, corten steel, plastic drainpipe tube, couplers 5000 x 3000mm.

The moa is a charismatic personality within Aotearoa’s natural history for many and Ioane Ioane is among those whose imagination it continues to capture. In Ioane’s case by the deep-time story of nature’s interconnectedness and transience that the ancient taonga embodies.

Using tōtara, harakeke and nikau palm sheaths, Ioane has fashioned a tactile sculptural interpretation of the moa, referring to its te reo Māori name, ‘Te Kura Nui,’ which translates as the many red feathers. These organic materials will disintegrate and shed slightly during installation, enacting the whakataukī: ‘All leaves return to their roots when they fall.’

Thinking of this whakataukī, Ioane reflects on how we remain connected to extinct creatures and beings like the moa and to lands we may no longer live in.

“As a Samoan,” he writes, “the moa symbolises for me not a loss but a celebration of the core softness of home and the thin veil separating Hawaiki and the living.”


Lives and works in Auckland

Over the past three decades, Ioane Ioane has significantly impacted contemporary art in Aotearoa and across Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa with his multidisciplinary practice spanning sculpture, painting, installation, film writing and performance. A deep commitment to his Samoan heritage and whanau underlines these many projects. ‘Va’ is a Samoan concept that describes space as a site for connection, birth, rebirth, transition and becoming, and it is this space that Ioane seeks to occupy and share with his work.

Ioane’s work was featured in many landmark exhibitions of contemporary Pacific Art of the 1990s, including ‘Te Moe Moe No Iotefa,’ at the Sargeant Gallery, Whanganui (1990) and ‘Bottled Ocean’ (1992). It is also held in many museum and gallery collections globally, including at the Cambridge Museum of Anthropology, Pataka Museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, and the Tijibou Cultural Centre, Noumea.

Ioane is represented by Whitespace Gallery.


Represented by Whitespace Contemporary Art and Milford Galleries

whitespace.co.nz  milfordgalleries.co.nz