May 12, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Art or Appropriation? A Maori Warrior: All White Edition

1 min read

We came across this “toy” today and were interested in your thoughts on it. This “Maori Warrior: All White Edition” is an 8″ hand-cast & painted resin toy, “ALL WHITE EDITION” limited to 20 figures world wide costing $160 NZD.

These pieces were created by Paul Shih an artist/designer based in New Zealand, but who is originally from Taiwan, where culture is a heady mix of diverse influences.

Paul was educated in New Zealand, he graduated from AUT (Art and Design) in 2004.

PaulShihMaoriWarriorCHis website states that “his work is about events, characters, and is inspired by his surroundings to create a visual world that tells the story.

Throughout the time, Paul has developed a unique style called Paper Diorama, which combined illustration and photography techniques.

We wanted to raise the question, is this a sincere form of cultural interpretation or another commercial MISrepresenation? He aha to whakaaro??

At what point do we say it’s appropriation and when IS it appropriate to take likenesses of other cultures and represent them for commercial purposes?

The images below detail some of Paul’s work click on them to view larger images.



3 thoughts on “Art or Appropriation? A Maori Warrior: All White Edition

  1. …the news was on and Goff lost. Paul needs to think Chinese and I am sure this will improve his take on cultural imagery when working with art and design.

  2. I damn like Japanese animation that has lots of over exaggerated expression, blood, violence and guts. But not sure on these has anyone seen magic mushrooms growing in front of their marae… Paul needs help with his 'moko drawing.

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