Teariki Engu is a recent graduate from the Visual Arts School at Manukau Institute of Technology. In Takapini, Teariki Engu dips into Pacific Island culture and emerges with a work from his own alphabet of genetic and social imagery.
Teariki has spent many years developing this visual vocabulary. As a child he began drawing with chalk on the driveway of his home, later extending the scale of his drawing to the footpath before claiming the rest of the street as his canvas.
Takapini is the result of a hybridisation of Engu’s Cook Island heritage and his life experiences, which he says are common to many people, but primarily those of Pacific Island people who are New Zealand born.
Engu says ‘The importance of identity is an essential part of experiencing life, knowing where one stands and what to stand for and with.’
→ Teariki Engu: Takapini, 2005, exhibition card