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Hōhua Ropate


Hōhua Ropate Kurene

Hōhua Ropate Kurene’s Biography

Last Updated:
5/05/2021, 12:08 pm
Arts Foundation Springboard 2021
Iwi: Aotearoa – Ngāti Apa Ki Te Rā Tō, Kāi Tahu, Te Aupōuri. Samoa – Luatuanu'u of Atua District
"It is a great honour to be one of the recipients of this year’s Springboard awards. To have my work not only recognised but also supported in this very special way is a true blessing. With this opportunity I look forward to navigating my experiences within the arts with a greater sense of ease and purpose. I am proud of my accomplishments thus far and I am very grateful to my Aiga and Tuaā - the threads and ties that have safely guided me here. This opportunity has arrived in such a timely way and is received with much gratitude. To share this all with my mentor, tuakana and dear friend Dan Ahwa - makes this experience all the more sweeter. I am very grateful to Dan and his willingness to take up this new challenge. I have a great deal of admiration and respect for how he sees and moves through this world, for the light he carries and the heart he instills within his beautiful works. I know with that with the guidance and support of the Arts Foundation Aiga and Dan Ahwa I am in very capable hands to prepare for what lies ahead."

Hōhua Ropate Kurene is a queer, indigenous artist specialising in photography, creative writing and multimedia design. In his work he captures a breadth of Tangata Whenua/Pasifika experiences, establishing new expressions of beauty, fashion and identity within Aotearoa New Zealand and Western Samoa. Whilst much of his work is firmly rooted in his own heritage and history, Hōhua’s unique perspective has already resonated with a variety of artists – resulting in powerful collaborations spanning a range of mediums.

Hōhua is of mixed Samoan, Māori & Afro-European heritage. Born in Porirua, Hōhua was raised in his Father’s village of Luatuanu’u Samoa and later moved to his Mother’s birthplace of Ōtautahi, Aotearoa to complete his schooling. He is now based in Tāmaki Makaurau, where he continues to develop his practice. With his feet firmly planted in a range of disciplines and a unique voice guided by the Fafswag Arts Collective, Hōhua is an artist steadily gaining recognition.

Hōhua Ropate Kurene will be mentored by Dan Ahwa

Dan Ahwa is a renowned New Zealand journalist and stylist. Along with being the fashion & creative director for award-winning weekly magazines Viva Magazine and Canvas Magazine, Dan’s written and styling work has been published in various local and international publications specialising in travel, culture, lifestyle, design and style. He is also a trustee for The New Zealand Fashion Museum and has a passion for supporting and showcasing up-and-coming creatives.

Statement from selection panel: "Hohua Kurene is an artist with a dynamic and diverse practice that traverses, photography, poetry, performance and fashion. His work intersects conversations about cultural heritage, sexuality and community in exciting and new ways. We believe he will be well suited to the Springboard programme and opportunities it can offer."