New Zealand's most significant indigenous art exhibition this year opens on Saturday at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.

Puhoro ō mua, Puhoro ki tua showcases artwork by nearly 100 indigenous artists from nations across the Pacific and Pacific Rim including Tahiti, Guam, The Cook Islands, Australia, United States, Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Waikato Museum director Cherie Meecham says: "This exhibition celebrates a special event in global indigenous visual arts.

"It showcases a diversity of new and contemporary indigenous art while also highlighting traditional legacies."

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Waikato Museum has partnered with Te Ātinga, the Māori Visual Arts Committee of Toi Māori Aotearoa to present the exhibition in association with Puhoro ō mua, Puhoro ki tua, the 9th International Indigenous Artists Gathering at Turangawaewae Marae, where more than 120 international indigenous artists are gathering from today for 10 days to make art, exchange arts knowledge, and share their respective art traditions.

Chairperson of Te Ātinga Committee, Nigel Borell, says: "This is a special event for Te Ātinga and Toi Māori Aotearoa.

"We share in hosting this gathering every couple of years with one of our international indigenous partners, and this will be the first occasion that we have been able to host the gathering in the Waikato region."

Puhoro ō mua, Puhoro ki tua, the name of the gathering and the exhibition, is a Māori saying that states from looking back to the past we journey forward in unison into the future.

It refers to the puhoro kowhaiwhai pattern that flows with creative energy and denotes speed, strength and dexterity.

The first gathering was in 1995 at Apumoana marae in Rotorua with previous gatherings having also been hosted in Hawaii (2007) and Washington State USA (2001 and 2017).

The Turangawaewae gathering includes symposiums and workshops and is designed to nurture the next generation of indigenous artists by bringing them together with those who are already recognised.

Details of the exhibition and the opening events are available on the Waikato Museum website: www.waikatomuseum.co.nz.

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