Hastings City Art Gallery Te Whare Toi o Heretaunga is set to unveil a new collaboration which seeks to shine a light on the value of Māori art.
Opened Friday, June 11, the exhibition comes after last year's successful Tika Tonu exhibition.
Titled te MOKO on our face / in your face, it features the works of iwitoi Ngāti Kahungunu: Māori Artists Collective.
Exhibition curator Sandy Adsett said the works challenge the status quo that often overlooks and marginalises Māori art.
"We're making a statement, this is Māori art and 'in your face' means it's around you and you can't see it, you don't recognise it as being a valid art of a culture.
"While some see recognisable Māori art symbols, they're not looking at the integrity of the art that's actually being produced."
The exhibition "reiterates the notion that facial moko assert Māori identity" which the artworks will also do.
It comes from a Māori-centric viewpoint and highlights the expertise and skill of 40 artists from the iwitoi collective.
The gallery space will be transformed in order to harness the visual and entertainment values of the marae, and performances and workshops will be held daily from a central stage.
"This is a statement of being Māori, of loving the images that identify us and of claiming a space to stand as ourselves," says Sandy.
Hastings City Art Gallery, Te Whare Toi o Heretaunga curator Clayton Gibson says the challenge to create a space to support and empower te iwitoi was one the gallery team wanted to make happen.
"Embracing living, breathing conversations about mātauranga Māori and different ways of doing things has been hard work but this mahi has been an integral part of putting this exhibition together.
"My hope is that this dialogue will help us to continue to build the gallery's relationship with iwitoi Kahungunu."
The exhibition opened Friday June 11 and runs until August 15.