b. 1969, New Zealand

Andy Leleisi'uao Biography

Andy Leleisi'uao is a senior Pacific artist living and working in Auckland, New Zealand. Over the past 30 years Leleisi'uao's style has morphed from highly volatile, expressive paintings and sculpture into sophisticated stories reflecting the artist's inner space. Through his more recent work, Andy has created alternative universes, emergent societies populated by strange creatures that are free of traditional human prejudice. It is a genesis point, a veritable human reset button.

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His influence range is enormous, he draws from ancient & modern history, literary history, art history, pop culture history, world headlines, personal experiences, he rarely leaves a stone unturned. He tells the story of what we can be as a species, regardless of our cultural stature, religious convictions, skin colour or sexual orientation.

A full time artist since 1996, Andy's CV is accomplished in exhibitions, awards, and residencies. Andy was awarded a scholarship to attend AUT and received a Master of Fine Arts with honours in 2002. He has exhibited throughout New Zealand and has been involved in solo and group exhibitions in Australia, Rarotonga, Germany, Taiwan, and the USA.

In the late 1990s, Andy was awarded residencies at the Casula Powerhouse in Sydney, the Macmillian Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Canterbury, in 2009 the Asia NZ Foundation/Taipei Artist Village and at McCahon House, Titirangi, 2010.

His work is included in the permanent collections of Pātaka Art + Museum, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the Chartwell Collection, MFAT, the Arts Trust collection, Casula Powerhouse, Sydney and the Museum of Ethnography, Frankfurt, Germany.

Andy was the recipient of the 2017 Wallace Arts Trust Paramount Award and completed a 5 month residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York City in 2018. In 2019, his first survey exhibition, KAMOAN MINE curated by Ben Bergman opened at the TSB Wallace Arts Centre, Hillsborough Rd, Auckland.

In 2021, Andy was presented the Senior Pacific Artist award from Creative New Zealand.

Text courtesy Bergman Gallery

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