35th Bienal de São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec 2023
Free Admission
35th Bienal de
São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec
Exhibition view of the work of Nikau Hindin during the 35th Bienal de São Paulo – choreographies of the impossible © Levi Fanan / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo

Nikau Hindin

Nikau Hindin recovers the traditional Maori practice – disappeared for more than a century – of making aute: a fabric obtained from a lengthy processing of mulberry bark. Hindin’s operations unfold in the transmission of this practice into collective actions, so that the entire knowledge system and worldview involved can be reborn and re-established today as a work of reconnection of those who are here with their ancestors. From the creation and use of typical tools to produce incisions in the mulberry bark and open it up for utensils to beat and open the weave of the tree skin, soaked in water, dried again, and then soaked again, the raw material of this process is made of time, and it is in it and through it that the magical transformation of the material quality of the bark into fabric takes place.

Both the bark and the material derived from plant fiber are a wrapping, a kind of skin. Poets know that house and body share the same nature. That the tree when standing makes us dream of the heights of heaven and that its roots take us to the depths of being. When lying down, reverie can easily turn it into a canoe. The images are rich in protection and potential movement.

The graphic system elaborated with earth-based pigments in Hindin’s paintings refers to star maps, the ancient Maori method of observing the shifts of the stars in the sky, as a form of navigation and life orientation in space and time. Lines and arrows produce dynamism in up and down movements, representing the oscillation of the stars, taking the horizon as a point of reference. His research encompasses a value system and calls us to carry out a genealogy of processes, a genealogy of memory, and to exercise respect for the cycles and patterns of nature, in a balance between water and time.

emanuel monteiro
translated from Portuguese by philip somervell

Nikau Hindin (Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand, 1991. Lives in Turanganui a Kiwa/Gisborne, Aotearoa/New Zealand) is a multi-disciplinary artist with a revivalist agenda to re-awaken/remember the process of making aute (Māori tapa cloth). Hindin’s mission to re-learn this practice was influenced by the revitalisation of voyaging, navigation and her involvement with waka haurua, Māori migration canoes.