Michel Tuffery portrait

Michel Tuffery MNZM



Polynesian-Samoan, Rarotongan (Cook Islands) and Ma’ohi Tahitian
Michel Tuffery exceeds the boundaries of contemporary media, collaborating on installation and performance artworks that traverse cultural boundaries and defy concrete categorisation. His woodcuts, lithographs, drawings, paintings on tapa cloth and canvas, sculpture, performances and emblematic carvings are the artistic offerings of a keen historian and active participator in contemporary culture.

Award Excellence for Creative Leadership, Kia Rapa Tu Taku ‘Oe Cook Island Government, 2015 Award Creative New Zealand Contemporary Artist, 2010 Award Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, 2008


2016: Lost and Found, Portrait Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand Pacific Dialogues, Diversion Gallery, Picton, New Zealand

2015: Pacifique(s) Contemporain – First Contact’ University of Rouen Gallery, France / Artist in Residence, L’Esadhar School of Fine Art, University of Rouen, France / Siamani Samoa, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia / Lakapi Architectural projection, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Apia, Samoa / Transforma TEDx Auckland, New Zealand / Thinking of Place, NZ Print Exh (touring Australia and New Zealand) / WW1 Remembered, Anzac Media Lightshow, Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Wellington, New Zealand / Vai Moana, Architectural Projection, Outdoor Arts Festival, Oamaru, New Zealand / N8VLaB Oma Rapeti, Pataka Art+Museum, Porirua, New Zealand

2014: Transforma ‘Burra Kangaroo’ Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia / From Samoa with Love? Samoan Travellers in Germany, 1895-1911. A Search for Traces, Museum Funf Kontinente, Munich, Germany / Binding and Looping, University of Hawai‘i Art Gallery, Hawaii, United States

2013: Made in Oceania: Tapa – Art and Social Landscapes, Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum, Cologne, Germany / Te Fenua, Solander Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand / Chapel, Stained Glass Windows, Kings College, Auckland, New Zealand / N8VLaB, Pataka Art+Museum, Porirua, New Zealand / Pirianga Toto ‘Cook Island’ Artists Exhibition, Fresh Gallery, Otara, Auckland, New Zealand / Chocolate, Pataka Art + Museum, Porirua, New Zealand / Reading Clouds, Floating Middens, Floating Land, Queensland, Australia

2012: Nga Kina, Wellington Sculpture Trust, Wellington, New Zealand / NZ Post Commemorative Stamps series and Limited Edition Coin, Wellington, New Zealand / First Contact, BCA Gallery, Volta NY, New York, United States / Siamani Samoa, Andrew Baker Art Dealer, Brisbane, Australia, / Pulima Arts Festival, Taipei, Taiwan / O le Povi Pusa, Edge of Elsewhere, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia
First Contact, Architectural Projection and Performance Artwork, NZ International Art Festival, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand / Siamani Samoa, Mackay Regional Gallery, Queensland; Leonhard Adam collection, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Victoria; Australia / 20 years – A Snapshot, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney, Australia

2011: Oceania, City Gallery Wellington | Te Whare Toi, Wellington, New Zealand / Siamani Samoa (Stage 2), Pataka Art+Museum, Porirua, New Zealand / Lakapi (Fifteen Aside), Solander Gallery, Wellington; New Zealand High Commission, Samoa Siamani Samoa (Stage 1) Samoa / First Contact, ANZ Building, Chifley Square, Sydney Festival, Sydney Australia / First Contact Ambient, Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney, Australia / Povi VaSa, Edge of Elsewhere, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia / Niu Warrior, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia / This is not a vitrine, this is an ocean, Waikato Museum | Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

2010: The Dreaming Festival, Woodford, Queensland, Australia / Tiaho – Contemporary Photography from Oceania, Instituto Latino de Mexico, Coyacoán, Mexico City; Centro Cultural Multidisciplinario, El Casetón, Iztapalapa, Mexico City; Palacio Municipal de Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Mexico/ New Zealand Landscapes (with Dick Frizzell), Williams Gallery, Petone, New Zealand / Niu Pasifik—Urban Art from the Pacific Rim, Gorman University Art Gallery, San Francisco, United States / Indigenous Forum, United Nations Headquarters, New York, United States / Manuia, American Indian Community House, New York, United States / Fortunes Lost and Won, Puke Ariki Museum, New Plymouth, New Zealand




NZ Parliament Collection, Wellington
Auckland City Council, Auckland, NZ
New Zealand Post, Wellington
Tairawhiti Museum, Gisborne
Museum of New Zealand | Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington Auckland Art Gallery | Toi o Tamaki

Auckland Museum | Tamaki Paenga Hira Christchurch Art Gallery | Te Puna o Waiwhetu Christchurch City Council
Museum of Wellington City & Sea

National Library of New Zealand | Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, Wellington Pataka Art + Museum, Porirua
Puke Ariki Museum, New Plymouth
Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History, Palmerston North

The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Wellington
Ministry of Internal Affairs, Wellington
Porirua City Council, Porirua
Royal New Zealand Police College, Porirua
The University of Auckland | Te Whare Wananga o Tamakimakaurau University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wananga o Waitaha, Christchurch University of Otago | Te Whare Wananga o Otago, Dunedin
Wellington City Council
Air New Zealand, Wellington


Mackay Regional Council Collection, Queensland, Australia University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Maritime Museum, Sydney

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane Cairns Regional Gallery, Queensland


Government of Samoa, Apia, Samoa
Agence de Développement de la Culture Kanak, Nouméa Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Nouméa
National Museum of the Cook Islands, Avarua


Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung, Taiwan Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, Tokyo


British Museum, London
Museum fur Volkerkunde, Frankfurt, Germany


Permanent Mission of New Zealand to the United Nations, New York, United States