Unforgettable: Michael Parekowhai’s ‘On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer’

Unforgettable: Michael Parekowhai’s ‘On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer’

If you live in the Wellington region then I really hope you’ll come to Te Papa and visit Michael Parekowhai’s On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer, which is on show on Level 5 until 23 September 2012.

Rather than describing my own experience of these works, I thought I’d share with you some of our visitors’ comments instead…

Hear Courtney Johnston talking about it on Radio NZ.

Excerpt from a letter to the editor from Wellington’s Capital Times, 5 September:

My ten year old boy and I visited Te Papa while the beautiful Steinway, carved, inlaid and painted to within a semi – quaver of its life, was being played. Have you ever seen the insides, let alone put your head beneath the lid (and under the watchful “Don’t Touch!” gaze of the attendants) of a grand piano, as Chopin is being played? We neither. Until today!  

The beautifully played music (thanks Ariana Odermatt) and the applied imagination of Parekowhai filled the exhibition space, as it did my body, mind and heart. This installation reflects and celebrates my understanding of bi- culture. Far out! Kia ora! 

Tom White, Island Bay (abridged).

Find out more about the exhibition and about a special event next Thursday night.

If you’ve already seen the works and want to share your response, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Sarah Farrar

Curator of Contemporary Art


  1. I have learn some excellent stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to make any such excellent informative website.

  2. This was so magical. I have never experienced anything like it. Just walking into a big, long room, people lining the walls – sitting, lying, eyes closed or open intently watching, wandering and inspecting this thing of beauty. A very special experience, to see and to hear. I have recommended it to everyone!

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