site specific installation
dimensions variable
commissioned by Auckland Art Fair with support from Yu Mei

Yu Mei Newmarket Store

Focusing on Māori connections to place and the concepts of indigenous narrative and non-human agency, Ashleigh Taupaki’s responsive installation, One, comprises of four welded vessels that will house different sands from significant beaches where Taupaki’s people have resided—Opoutere, Onemana, Whangamata and Whiritoa. These works are framed against Taupaki’s poetry that ruminates on resonances of space, spirituality, and connection to land.

The artist invites you to take a small poster with you.


One alludes to the earth and its minerals. It references the creation of Hine-ahu-one, the first woman, and the first human. The work is a process of self-reflection, combining the two ideas of One to investigate how I—as a wahine Maori—am able to trace my lineage back to the sands of the Hauraki coast. By using Opoutere, Onemana, Whangamata, and Whiritoa as a framework, my exploration of whakapapa between human and non-human is focused within specific landforms, allowing an intimate conversation between myself and these materials and sites. I do this by collecting shells, stones and driftwood; digging my hands into the sand to feel the coolness beneath; and swimming in the moana. One invites others to experience this process through sensory awareness and interaction.”

Image: Ashleigh Taupaki, One, 2021, installation view at Yu Mei, Newmarket, Auckland, as part of 2021 Projects at Auckland Art Fair, image courtesy of Yu Mei and Jono Parker

Projects Alumni