Who Am I? is a question at the centre of what it is to be human and for artist Kelcy Taratoa (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Raukawa) it has formed the subject of his painting for two decades.
Kelcy Taratoa: Who Am I ?… Episode 001 is a bi-lingual English and Te Reo publication written by Warren Feeney and translated by Hēni Jacob (Ngāti Raukawa). It traverses the artist’s life from growing up in the suburbs of Levin to Te Haka a Te Tupere, the artist’s wharenui at Rangiwaea marae in Tauranga Harbour.
Through his paintings he contends that contemporary technology’s virtual realities and appetite for destruction and distraction is undermining our humanity and experience of the world. Yet painting, that most ancient means of visual communication, is something that continues to remind us of our humanness. His open-hearted discussion ranges from the heroes of favourite Marvel comic books to Māori visual art traditions and their conceptual framework, generously offering all of us a call for reflection and action.