Lisa Reihana MNZM, skillfully merges meticulous research and primary sources with reimagined narratives, shedding light on the rich culture and history of the Māori and Pacific Islader communities. Employing a diverse range of artistic mediums, such as performance art, photography, installation pieces, as well as video and animation, Reihana constructs immersive cinematic tableaus. Her recent endeavours portray the historical encounters between colonial powers in the South Pacific as an ongoing web of entanglements between European settlers and indigenous peoples, with far-reaching implications that persist to this day.
Reihana's captivating installation, He Wai Ngunguru - Nomads of the Sea (2019), interweaves fact and fiction to explore the complex social dynamics of 19th century New Zealand. Through the character of Storyteller, an enigmatic figure that fluidly shifts between masculine and feminine voices, viewers are introduced to Charlotte Badger, a Pakeha settler woman who defies societal norms through her mutinous actions, and Puhi, a proud wahine descendant of the Ngā Puhi tribe, whose jealousy is stirred by Charlotte's rising influence.