Greg SEMU
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Greg SEMU

 

Colonised + Curated

Autodidact. Photographer, independent researcher, visual artist and philanthropist working in the field of community arts and social justice. Provocateur and dramatist.

 
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"Semu's work grapples with Western art history and leads us towards a Maori understanding of the events surrounding their ancestors' migratory voyage to New Zealand" 

Tony Ellwood, NGV Director

 
 
 
 
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“Walking into this installation, set against a black and red backdrop, has the visual effect of blunt force trauma…’BLOOD RED’ is not easy viewing, but it is necessary for making visible the suffering.”

Elizabeth Reidy
Art Monthly Australia

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“In the scenes Semu staged and photographed . . . . instead of starving wretches, you get tensed, sinewy torsos.

You still get nakedness – but you also get culture in the rope wrist guards of warriors and grass skirts to protect from the rain.

You still get desperation, but you also get a steely determination . . .”

Michael Bleby
Financial Review


 
 
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COLLECTIONS

FRANCE
Musée du Quai Branly
La Maison du Livre, de l’Image et du Son / Villeurbanne
Musée d'Art Contemporain - Lyon

GERMANY
Humboldt Forum Museum
Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde - Frankfurt

NEW CALEDONIA
Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre

TAIWAN
Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts

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“In the age of the selfie, Greg Semu is "pinging" everyone in New Zealand. And in Australia, for that matter…

…at a time when social media and the images we create of ourselves through these media, dominate conversations and influence the very language we use.”

 

Michael Bleby
Financial Review

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"…Although the Pacific is the focus of his work, Semu has become a globalised artist…”

 

John MacDonald
Sydney Morning Herald

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Portraiture is the foundation of his art practice, augmented and scaled up to engage displaced and marginalised communities ethnic or aboriginal with arts focused projects negotiating the horrific legacy suffered upon their ancestors and in the present.

Using the visual medium of photography as the vehicle to aggressively questioning the force fed archival narratives,  deaths in custody, injustice and incarceration law and enforcement as factually inspired reconstructions.

 

 
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RESIDENCIES

GERMANY
Creative New Zealand Visual Arts Residency at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin

FRANCE
Musée du Quay Branly, Paris

NEW CALEDONIA
Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre - Agency for the Development of Kanak Culture / ADCK, Nouméa

NEW ZEALAND
Unitec / Institute of Technology. Auckland

TAIWAN
Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts. Kaohsiung City

 
 
 
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Revisiting and reexamining the evidence and residue of historical events and reconfiguring and presenting alternative case files and conclusions for re-digestion.

Fabricated realities designed to provoke dialogue and shift paradigms at both end of the spectrum. Empower the downtrodden disempowered and illicit empathy and compassion from the wealthy overpowered policy and decision makers of government and industry to take action and correct this gross legacy.

The seduction of suffering, the human condition and trials and tribulations are stories secreted in the visual universe of Greg SEMU.

 
 
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“Portraying the body of Christ is hungry work ,
Messiah complex: Greg Semu recreates the theatre of Christ's death. . . . . “

Andrew Taylor
Sydney Morning Herald

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"...his entire persona is wilfully exotic, from his wedge-shaped haircut to his upturned moustache. He embraces theatricality as both artist and model.”

John MacDonald
Sydney Morning Herald

 
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