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JH

Roadside Kai Māori

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Hiria Anderson, Reka Deals, 2021; Tasty Super Savers, 2021; Sonny’s Takeaways, 2021: three digital prints on vinyl, 3 x 2400 mm x 3000 mm. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett Hiria Anderson, Reka Deals, 2021; Tasty Super Savers, 2021; Sonny’s Takeaways, 2021; acrylic on plyboard, 3x 1535 mm x 1237 mm x 55 mm. As installed in the Iris Fisher Gallery. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett

It is a nice idea to have these ersatz signs (reminiscent it seems of past decades) placed in Reeves Rd. For those familiar with these edibles, their textures, tastes and aromas will be instantly recalled. For others yet to experience at least some of them, the drawn words will be baffling.

Te Tuhi Billboards

Pakuranga

 

Hiria Anderson
Reka Deals /Tasty Super Savers / Sonny’s Takeaways

Curated by Ngahiraka Mason

 

13 February 2021 - 9 May 2021

Lined up on the white concrete block fence that runs along Reeves Road opposite Te Tuhi’s front entrance, Hiria Anderson’s three hoardings emulate the advertising of Māori food delicacies when written on roadside (storefront) blackboards, listing the comestibles in Te Reo and (the type of cooking) English.

The types of letter or number for the names, containers and prices is very carefully worked out compositionally, their pale coloured shapes or cursive script fastidiously rendered in acrylic to look like chalk-and then enlarged to make billboards through digital printing.
Amusingly, of the three types of kai Māori, one is illegal: kereru (wood pigeon) on the righthand side can only be furtively obtained, though puha (a type of herbal dandelion) is easily found, and deep fried huhu (fat borer larvae) initially located in rotting trees.

A jar of pig intestines (tero tero) features in the middle hoarding, while on the far left, kai moana in the form of a tray of dried and aged kelp (karengo) and shark’s liver (kohi), dominates. The kereru, puha and huhu are a little over double the price of the kai moana.

It is a nice idea to have these ersatz signs (reminiscent it seems of past decades) placed in Reeves Rd. For those familiar with these edibles, their textures, tastes and aromas will be instantly recalled. For others yet to experience at least some of them, the drawn words will be baffling.

However the elegant displays themselves, like some of these prepared foods, are becoming a lost art. By making this presentation Hiria Anderson showcases both culinary skills and visual design: kai preparation and roadside marketing.

John Hurrell

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