City Gallery City Gallery Wellington


Hear Michael Parekōwhai’s Piano

Various times each day

There is no object I could make. . . that could fill a room like sound can.
—Michael Parekōwhai, 2011

Michael Parekōwhai’s spectacular sculpture He Kōrero Pūrākau mō te Awanui o te Motu: Story of a New Zealand River is a Steinway grand piano, and it’s designed to be played.

During the exhibition season for This Is New Zealand, the artist and City Gallery have put an open call out to the public to come and play this iconic artwork and help fill the Gallery with sound.

Performance times are:
Weekdays 11.30, 12.30 and 2pm
Weekends 11am, 1pm and 3pm

Monday 21 May
no performances booked

Tuesday 22 May
no performances booked

Wednesday 23 May
2pm Gabriele Gschwendtner

Thursday 24 May
Sarah Davidson

Friday 25 May
Gabriele Gschwendtner

Saturday 26 May
Georgi Hampton
1pm Albert Nisbet

Sunday 27 May
Ethan Hotter

If you would like to play Parekōwhai's piano, find out more here

About the artwork:

Created by Michael Parekōwhai for the 2011 Venice Biennale, He Kōrero Pūrākau mō te Awanui o te Motu: Story of a New Zealand River is a bright red Steinway grand piano embellished with intricately carved Māori motifs. It challenges our expectations around the relationship between Māori and European cultures. Art critic Justin Paton asks, “Is it a European instrument decorated with Māori carving, or a Māori carving that has engulfed a piece of European high culture?”

Parekōwhai’s work is re-presented at City Gallery as part of the exhibition This Is New Zealand, which takes a critical look at New Zealand national identity, at the stories we’ve told ourselves—and others—about who we are.