Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)
Hemi Sundgren

Hemi Sundgren

Māori (Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Raukawa)

(1975- )


Hemi’s work is underpinned by a strong cultural base and is exploring new forms and techniques and materials to develop new interpretations. He is a talented emerging artist who’s work has been exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally. Hemi’s work as a participating and practising artist is only one of the many roles he currently fulfils. He is an accomplished carver, researcher of whakapapa tribal history, waiata (classical song), ruruku (classical incantaion) and traditional oral histories, particular to the tribes he belongs to.

He is a fluent speaker of Māori and is active in the revitalisation / regeneration of the language dialect specific and unique to the Taranaki area. This has seen him co-ordinate and develop a regional strategic language plan and participate in the re-development of a draft regional wordlist / dictionary of commonly used words in Taranaki.

He is a graduate of the esteemed Māori Arts and Crafts Instiitute in Rotorua and has lectured on Māori Art, Design and Māori language. It is the tribal narrative and oral histories that is an invaluable source of inspiration for many of his works. He is currently the curator of taonga Māori (Māori Collection) at Puke Ariki Museum (formerly Taranaki Museum) in New Plymouth.

Artist Contemporaries