Simon Kaan
Ngāti Māmoe
Ngāi Tahu


Member for
3 years 8 months
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Add your career milestones: 
[{"date":"2012","event":"Installation of ‘Kaihaukai’, IAIA,\nSanta Fe, New Mexico, USA, as part\nof the International Symposium on\nElectronic Arts"},{"date":"2007","event":"Return Residency at Red Gate Gallery,\nexhibition at Pickle Art Gallery, Beijing,\nChina"},{"date":"2006","event":"Kete Aronui 05 – Simon Kaan- Maori\nTelevision. Documentary"},{"date":"2006","event":"‘Learning from The Knee’ Ngai Tahu\nExhibtion, Burringa Gallery, Melbourne,\nAustralia"},{"date":"2004","event":"Recipient of the Creative NZ Asia\nResidency at Red Gate Gallery, Beijing\nChina."},{"date":"2003","event":"‘Ka Wakatipuraka’ Christchurch Art\nGallery Te Puawai o Ngai Tahu, exhibition\nof recent works by 12 contemporary Ngai\nTahu artists."},{"date":"2000","event":"Curator of ‘Ka Puta Mai’ an exhibition of\n30 Kai Tahu artists, Logan Park Art\nGallery, Dunedin."},{"date":"2000","event":"‘Nohoaka Toi Kai Tahu’ Kai Tahu artist in\nresidence, Dunedin School of Art"},{"date":"1995","event":"Taught as Secondary School Art Teacher\nat Havelock North High School 1999 and\nNew Plymouth Girls High School"},{"date":"1995","event":"Designed carvings for Te Waipounamu,\nMaori Select Committee Rooms,\nParliament, Wellington."},{"date":"1994","event":"Graduated, Christchurch College of\nEducation"},{"date":"1993","event":"Graduated, Dunedin School of Art,\nPrintmaking (honours)"},{"date":"1971","event":"Born in Dunedin, New Zealand"}]
[{"cap":"Oil on worker’s beds, Beijing, 2005","src":"","lnk":""},{"cap":"Untitled, 2012, intaglio wood block print","src":"","lnk":""},{"cap":"Untitled, 2012, carved oil on board","src":"","lnk":""},{"cap":"Hei Tiki, 2011, intaglio wood block print","src":"","lnk":""},{"cap":"Artist with Coal Rainbow, studio image, 2010","src":"","lnk":""}]
400-word bio: 
Simon graduated from the School of Art, Otago Polytechnic (Dunedin) in 1993, then venturing into art education for 5 years. Pursuing this interest, he has an ongoing involvement in community-based projects with youth, iwi and indigenous groups in New Zealand and overseas. Simon exhibits both in solo dealer exhibitions and in public galleries throughout the country. A painter and printmaker, he has featured in ‘Seen This Century, 100 Contemporary New Zealand Artists’ and ‘Pushing the Boundaries: 11 Contemporary Artists in Aotearoa New Zealand’, and magazines Art New Zealand and Art News. In 2000 he was invited to curate the Ngāi Tahu contemporary art exhibition ‘Ka Puta Mai’ as part of the Ngāi Tahu Arts Festival in Dunedin. He has gone on to curate exhibitions such as ‘Akona ki Nga Rekereke – Learning from the Knee’ at the Burrinja Gallery, Melbourne, Australia and ‘Te Karaka ki Te Tai o Arai-Te-Uru’ at the Temple Gallery, Dunedin in 2010. In 2004 Simon was awarded the inaugural Creative New Zealand Asia Residence where he spent three months being hosted by the Red Gate Gallery in Beijing, China. During this time he developed a series of works based around hand-crafted slat beds used by migrant workers. He returned back to China in 2007 to make new work and exhibit at Pickled Art Gallery in Beijing. In 2012 Simon was selected to participate in the ‘International Symposium of Electronic Art, New Mexico, USA’. This project involved him developing the website and engaging in a cultural food exchange between the Native American people and Ngāi Tahu Iwi with the assistance of the online medium Skype. Simon has been living in Macandrew Bay, Dunedin for the last twelve years with his partner Sarah and their three boys, Kahu, Nikau and Felix. He currently holds the position as Maori Academic at the School of Art, Otago Polytechnic, but spends the majority of his working time making art in his studio.
Creative Practice Types: 
["Graphic Arts","Artist"]
Short Introduction: 
Art’s agency within cultural revival is central to Simon Kaan’s understanding of his position as an artist. He possesses a refined visual language developed over decades, intrinsically tied to his sense of personal genealogy, being of Ngāi Tahu and Chinese descent.