City Gallery City Gallery Wellington

Past event

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 or 4pm
Weekends 11am, 1pm and 3pm

Tuesday 10 July
11.30am
Judith Cook
12.30pm John Niland
4pm
 Gareth Curtis

Wednesday 11 July
11.30am
Helen Curran
12.30pm Mae Koh
2pm Marijn de Koning

Thursday 12 July
11.30am
Mike Higham and Lily Higham
12.30pm James Stevenson
2pm Judith Cooke

Friday 13 July
11.30am Jacinta Zogg
12.30pm Daniela Mogin
2pm Grace Kim

Saturday 14 July
11am Solly Young
1pm Zachary Thirkell
3pm Colin Haywood

Sunday 15 July 
11am Student from New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University
1pm Student from New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University
2pm Student from New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University
3pm Rebecca Lauryssen

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.