Te Tini A Tangaroa Exhibition Opening

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Te Tini a Tangaroa Exhibition – Tim Li

Acknowledging the fact that our oceans are under siege, Tim’s works highlight both the beauty and sanctity of Te tini a Tangaroa (The multitudes of Tangaroa). This exhibition is an opportunity to slow down, to question our own sense of kaitiakitanga, and to engage with the subject of ocean sustainability.

Audiences will get up close and personal with the diversity of aquatic fauna that populates New Zealand’s waters, through traditional gyotaku prints and scientifically accurate pencil drawings.

“I want people to observe the detail, beauty and complexity of our endemic marine species, and honour the taonga that we have been passed down from Tangaroa.”

This exhibition runs until the end of May. Opening times are Monday – Friday from 9am-2pm and during events.
This is subject to availability of the Theatre Bar, this space is sometimes booked for private events. To be sure, please call ahead.

About Tim Li

Tim Li is a 35 year old contemporary Wellington artist producing graphite-on-paper drawings of New Zealand’s marine species. His work displays dramatic monochrome contrast, delicate attention to line detail and true representation of coarse and fine organic textures.

Growing up in a family-owned Taupō Fish ‘n Chip shop baited the hook for Li’s enchantment with NZ’s aquatic fauna. He spent hundreds of childhood Fridays and Saturdays gazing at the iconic “NZ Commercial Fish Species” poster. Despite being a hundred kilometres from the nearest ocean this iconography fuelled Li’s fascination for the variety, complexity and diversity of NZ’s marine bounty.

Li’s honest, meticulous and truthful representations are offered as an antidote to a growing brag-culture egged on by social media. Too often publicly shared images of fish are deconstructed into objects of status, or ego-baiting. Li offers these precise, magnified representations as objects of fascination; to be admired and appreciated with a botanical reverence. Nature here is returned to a space beyond kill-culture. If art can be said to save lives, Li’s work opens conversations of sustainability, resource management, respectful practise and even gratitude.

Pieces can run well past a hundred careful hours before Li has satisfied his tendency toward perfectionism. Each individually honed piece is a monument to the ocean, and a challenge to the “plenty more fish in the sea” mindset. Rare, treasurable and revered are truer descriptions of both the ocean, and Li’s work.

How to Find Us

Turner Centre, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands

Event Dates

Friday 5 May 2023