Raised in Taupo, of Ngati Tuwharetoa descent, Kingi Pitiroi attended Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Whakarewa, Taupo and is a 2011 graduate with a Bachelor in Maori Visual Arts and Design from Toihoukura, and this year’s EIT Tairawhiti Valedictorian.
Currently Kingi is working towards achieving his Certificate in Studio Workshop (Art and Design) and is also practicing Ta Moko under the guidance of tohunga Ta Moko, Derek Lardelli.
“Setting out into the world with a qualification that complements my innate passion for the visual arts is a dream realised. I have spent four years at Toihoukura testing my personal boundaries in the field I have chosen.
“I have also been tested by some of the most prolific creative minds in these contemporary times. It has been hugely challenging but inspiring.”
Kingi’s work is currently exhibited at Taupo and Tairawhiti Museums and in the Kura Gallery, Wellington.
Using these mediums Kingi is passionate about the development of Whanau, Hapu, Iwi and the wider community and has a vision to return home to use his knowledge and experience to foster a wider understanding and appreciation for Maori arts and general Maori culture.
In following this vision Kingi has a strong commitment to community travelling regularly to teach Maori Visual Art to College students of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Whakarewa ki Tuwharetoa. He has over the past four years travelled between Gisborne, Taupo and Rotorua tutoring secondary school Kapa Haka groups and over the past 12 months has been involved in various design and construction and performing arts projects.