Colonised + Curated
Greg SEMU is an autodidact ‘stills’ photographer, independent researcher, visual artist and philanthropist working in the field of community arts and social justice.
"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
Photographer Reinterprets Ancient Narratives of Maori Arrival In New
The Sydney Morning Herald
“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.”
Art Monthly Australia
Navigating the complex quagmire of colonial history retrospectively and progressively in the contemporary. A long painful centuries old saga deliberately obscured and permeated with hidden crimes of atrocities, war and unsuccessful multiple genocides, committed against humanity on a global scale in the name of freedom, religion and education, a few names for ‘greed’ masquerading under the disguise of improvement.
Displacement, isolation, confiscation and bereavement is the colonial experience! Profound intergenerational loss, suffering and demoralisation is the reward of the aftermath for first nations people.
Bendigo Art Gallery Collection
Cairns Regional Art Gallery
National Gallery of Australia
National Gallery of Victoria
RMIT / Melbourne
Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art
FranceMusée du Quai Branly
Humboldt Forum Museum
Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
The Wallace Arts Trust
Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts
"…Although the Pacific is the focus of his work, Semu has become a globalised artist…”
Sydney Morning Herald
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.
Auto Portrait with 12 Disciples
Battle of the Noble Savage
Body on the Line
La Pieta with Samoan Tatau
“ L U S T ”
Creative New Zealand Visual Arts Residency at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
Musée du Quay Branly, Paris
Waverly Artist Studio, Bondi, NSW
Elcho Island Arts Centre Residency, Elcho Island Galiwinku, NT
Campbelltown Arts Centra. Campbelltown, NSW
Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre - Agency for the Development of Kanak Culture / ADCK, Nouméa
Unitec / Institute of Technology. Auckland
Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts. Kaohsiung City
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.
"...his entire persona is wilfully exotic, from his wedge-shaped haircut to his upturned moustache. He embraces theatricality as both artist and model.”
Sydney Morning Herald