Kahokaho: Simplicity and Profundity
Jermaine Reihana BA Māori VA (Hons) paints native flora and fauna while re-working customary Māori narratives with a stylistic re-interpretation of kōwhaiwhai (painted scroll pattern), tukutuku (woven lattice panels), and whakairo (carving) design conventions.
Kahokaho is the horizontal wall batten in a wharenui. It has laticed tukutuku patterns of single stitches across the panel in groups of three at alternate angles.
Its understated design belies its significance in honoring 3 vital qualities: communication, identification and meaningful relationship.
Since his solo show at Depot Artspace in 2016 Jermaine has continued to work at the interface of customay narrative and contemporary interpretation, the place where meaning is sustained and enriched through a personalised response. Hence in Kahokaho, the inherent meaning is maintained while the imagery is renegotiated.
In this sense Jermaine continues in the footsteps of many contemporary Maori artists, such as Selwyn Muru, Arnold Wilson and Cliff Whiting for whom intrinsic meaning found contemporary form.
"I grew up on the marae & I would be a bit of a haututu among all the kids...
lying down looking up at the rafters looking at the kōwhaiwhai patterns...
My show is based on life lessons that we can continue to learn from in the wharenui." - Jermaine
Learn more about Jermaine's art practice through our Cultural Icons page here.