about

Kia ora! Ko Johnson Witehira tōku ingoa. Ki te haha toku whaea, no Whanganui ahau. Ko Tamahaki te iwi, ko Ngāti Hinekura te hapu. Ki te haha toku matua, No Nga Pūhi ahau. Ko Ngāi Tū-te-auru te hapu. I’m an artist, designer, and researcher. My areas of of expertise are Māori design, contemporary Māori art and indigenous design methods.

Most of the art and design projects I work on relate to the theme of decolonising design. Mostly, I’m interested in how design can be used to change the mono-cultural landscape of Aotearoa. As an academic and researcher I’m also involved in helping to bring through a generation of new designers. Ones with the vision and skills to weave Māori knowledge, ways of being and Māori values into the lives of all New Zealanders.


I’m available for commissions, collaborations, and I can be reached here.

JohnsonWitehira_profile.JPG
 

Karakia mo te whakairo:

E tipu, e rea, mō ngā rā o tō ao;
ko to ringaringa ki ngā rākau a te Pākehā hei oranga mō tō tinana
ko tō ngākau ki ngā taonga o ō tīpuna hei tikitiki mō tō māhunga

Thrive in the days destined for you,
your hand to the tools of the Pākehā to provide physical sustenance,
your heart to the treasures of your ancestors to adorn your head

 

Kia ora! Ko Johnson Witehira tōku ingoa. Ki te taha tōku whaea, no Whanganui ahau. Ko Tamahaki te iwi, ko Ngāti Hinekura te hapu. Ki te taha tōku matua, No Ngāpuhi ahau. Ko Ngāi Tū-te-auru te hapū. I’m an artist, designer and researcher. My areas of expertise are Māori design, contemporary Māori art and indigenous design methods. In my practice, these areas are linked by my interests in technology, identity and post-colonial theory.

In general, most projects I work on relate to the theme of decolonising design. What does this actually mean though? For me its about hitting the reset button on Aotearoa. Its about indigenising  the objects, places and even modes of communication in New Zealand so that Maori culture is present in everything.