23 February — 14 July 2019
A collective of Pacific and Māori fashion designers, artists and performers, the Pacific Sisters electrified 1990s Auckland, bringing the ground-breaking style of an urban, New Zealand–born Pacific generation to the mainstream. This major retrospective showcases their innovative costumes and performances, which began as street style before expanding into multimedia experiences in venues from art galleries to night clubs.
Main image credit: Kaitiaki with a K; Tāulaolevai: Keeper of the Water (Tuna) (cloak) 2017, New Zealand by Pacific Sisters. Installation view. Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists, 2018, Toi Art, Te Papa. Photograph by Kate Whitely.
Tile image credit: 21st Sentry Cyber Sister 1997, New Zealand by Pacific Sisters, Ani O’Neill, Niwhai Tupaea, Rosanna Raymond, Suzanne Tamaki, Te Papa (FE011080) and Leai se Fefe (Costume to offset the Acid thought of Doubt) 2016 by Feeonaa Wall. Installation view. Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists, 2018, Toi Art, Te Papa.
Through pioneering, daring shows, the Pacific Sisters overturned stereotypes about Pacific culture, ‘dusky maiden’ beauty and sexuality.
Exhibition developed and toured by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa