Leilani Kake

Cook Islands/Tainui/Nga Puhi/New Zealand
Born 1977

Ariki was made in November 2006 around my son's fifth birthday which was to be celebrated by holding a haircutting, a Cook Island ritual of letting a boy's hair grow until his family decide he is ready for his hair to be cut. About this time my son's father and I separated and my son experienced a profound time of change and upheaval in his own emotional identity. I likened his turmoil to Te Kore, the great darkness, which was experienced by the children of Rangi and Papa (the sky father and earth mother) before their separation. Though my son swims in the sea of Te Kore his face personifies the healing and radiant light of Te Marama, the light, and anticipates a brighter future.

This work honours my son and the amazing bond between myself and my son, the most sacred taonga (treasure) and light of my life.



〈亞里基〉是在2006年11月我兒子5歲生日左右製作的,當時我們將以剪髮的儀式來慶祝他的生日,那是一種庫克群島的儀式,我們讓小男孩的頭髮一直長到家人決定他適合剪髮時才剪。此時兒子的爸爸和我彼此分開,而我兒子在他自己的情感認同中則歷經了一段深沈的時刻,充滿變動與混亂。我將他所遭遇的動亂比喻為「Te Kore」,也就是極度黑暗之意,那是「Rangi」與「Papa」(天公與地母)的子女在祂們分開以前也曾遭受的。雖然我的兒子在「Te Kore」之海中游泳,但臉上卻閃耀著「Te Marama」(光明)那撫慰人心、和煦明亮的光芒,期待著更光明的未來。


Leilani Kake

Ariki 2007
Video installation; 6 minutes, looped
Collection of the artist

Leilani Kake's video installation affirms the on-going relevance of the legend of the sea god Tangaroa for many Pacific artists. A young boy turns continuously in a dark pool in a location where darkness is an ever-encircling presence. The child's movement brings a mythical action into the viewer's reality and reminds us of a world view of life as half in daylight and half in night's darkness. The ever-present Pacific Ocean is a major theme within this artwork.

亞里基 2007