Ming Ranginui makes sculptural forms out of found objects that are adapted to become something else – often through the use of satin smocking and text, embedded with a wry humour. While often poking fun at herself, Ranginui’s work addresses broader issues connected to her social and economic standing, and her perspective as wahine Māori.
Working at a haberdashery department in an emporium, Ranginui incorporates making techniques synonymous with the kitschy craft that surrounds her at her day job. Through her practice, smocking, pleating and satin become something entirely reimagined and specifically reflective of our time.
In Angel Numbers on the Dash, Ranginui grapples with the dilemma of house hunting during an era notorious for inadequate accommodation. As a reprieve during this relentless search, she gradually modified a 2003 model Daihatsu Sirion. Upholstery, personalised number plates and detailing were removed, tweaked or reinvented. The transformed car, no longer a functional vehicle, now serves as an emblem of the artist’s aspirations, idiosyncrasies, and current and future goals.
Ming Ranginui (Te Ati Haunui-a-Pāpārangi) is an artist from Whanganui who currently resides in Titahi bay. Recent exhibitions include He tohu tēnā pea, Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui 2023; The Field, Gertrude Contemporary, Wurundjeri Country Melbourne, 2023; Late to the ball, Season, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, 2023; Sleigh, Robert Heald, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, 2022; Matarau at City Gallery Te Whare Toi Wellington, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington; Cruel Optimism: New Artists Show, Artspace, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, 2021.
Angel Numbers on the Dash was first shown at City Gallery Te Whare Toi Wellington in 2022 as part of Matarau, curated by Shannon Te Ao.