Hohepa is a honours graduate of The New Zealand Arts and Crafts Institute, now called Te Puia, Rotorua. He has strived as a tauira (student) for over 15 years to learn the discipline of whakairo rakau (wood carving) and it’s many different facets of esoteric learning. A traditional grounding and understanding of cultural tikanga (Maori custom) has enabled Hohepa to create bodies of work displaying the true essence of whakairo rakau, which in his own view is to act as a visual mnemonic. A story must be told. Hohepa has been working with hapu located throughout New Zealand, from the building of marae infrastructure to the carving of marae and meeting houses (wharenui). He is currently tutoring in whakairo at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.
“Many different philosophies and perspectives, from carvers, artists and sculptors alike, have helped me on my path – so many thanks to them.”