Arapeta Ashton and Wai Ching Chan are hoa and close companions who connected together through art and culture. Reflecting on the current social dynamics between tauiwi and tangata whenua Māori, the two hope their friendship will open up a dialogue about coexistence of the two cultural groups. Arapeta and Wai are creating artworks that embody kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga and whakawhanaungatanga, creating meaningful connections and love.
Arapeta Ashton is a Takatāpui artist of Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Whanaunga, Ngāti Porou, and Muriwhenua decent. Arapeta is a recent BFA(Hons) graduate from Elam School of Fine Arts, and is currently researching an MFA. Their practice navigates between performance, moving image, and Māori material arts, exploring kaupapa around identity, indigenous practices, time and space.
Wai is a recent BFA(Hons) graduate from Elam School of Fine Arts. Her research is influenced by discourses around Cultural Studies, Social Studies, Postcolonial theory, diaspora and displacement. Currently she is navigating her research around being tauiwi.