Shannon Te Ao

Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Born 1978, Sydney (lives and works in Wellington)


2009 BFA (First Class Honours), Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland
2010 Graduate Diploma Teaching, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland
2016 MFA (First Class Honours), College of Creative Arts, Massey University Wellington



Mā te wā, Mossman,Wellington (solo)
Ka mua, ka muri, Remai Modern, Saskatoon (solo)
Ka mua, ka muri, Oakville Galleries, Toronto (solo)
ʻO le ūa na fua mai Manuʻa, UNSW Galleries, Sydney (group)

Art Basel Hong Kong (solo with Hopkinson Mossman)

my life as a tunnel, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland (solo)
In a World if Wounds (curated by Talia Smith), Artbank, Sydney (group)
my life as a tunnel (curated by Melanie Oliver), The Dowse Art Museum, Wellington (solo)
The order of things (curated by Andrea Bell), Hocken Gallery, Dunedin (group)
Being in place (curated by Paula Booker), Or Gallery, Vancouver (group)

With the sun aglow, I have my pensive moods, Te Tuhi, Auckland (solo)
Untitled (McCahon House Studies), City Gallery Wellington (solo)
With the sun aglow, I have my pensive moods (curated by Sorcha Carey and Bruce E. Phillips), The Edinburgh Art Festival (solo)
Tenei ao kawa nei (curated by Nathan Pohio), Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu (solo)
The Subject in the Land (curated by Natasha Conland), Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland (group)
Two shoots that stretch far out, Taipei Contemporary Art Centre (solo)
Te huka o te tai, Artspace, Auckland (solo)
(w/ Daniel Maier-Reimer) Politics of Sharing: On Collective Wisdom (Co-conceived by Elke aus dem Moore and Misal Adnan Yıldız), Artspace, Auckland (group)
Take that which has passed (curated by Louise Rutledge), Toi Pōneke Arts Centre, Wellington (group)

To All the Contributing Factors Forum, presented by ST PAUL St The 11th Gwangju Biennale: The Eighth Climate (What Does Art Do?) (group)
Untitled (malady), Robert Heald Gallery, Wellington (solo)
Imagine the Present (curated by Abby Cunnane), ST PAUL St, Auckland (group)
The Walters Prize, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (group)
The Subject in the Land (curated by Natasha Conland), Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (group)
Trigger Points (curated by Heather Galbraith), Palitz Gallery, Syracuse University, New York (group)
Imaginary Date Line (presented by Artspace Auckland), ifa, Berlin (group)
A torch and a light (cover), Hastings City Art Gallery (solo)
The Future is a Do-Over (curated by Ane Tonga), Dunedin Public Art Gallery (group)
Six Artists Respond to the Poetry of Joanna Margaret Paul (curated by Solomon Nagler and Mark Williams), Len Lye Centre, New Plymouth (group)

the one I call my own: Susan Te Kahurangi King and Shannon Te Ao (curated by Robert Leonard and Aaron Lister), City Gallery, Wellington (group)
Unstuck in Time (curated by Bruce E. Phillips), Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Auckland (group)
These stories began before we arrived, Te Tuhi Offsite, Silo 6, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland (group)
Imaginary Date Line, Artspace, Sydney (group)
Sights and Sound: New Zealand, The Jewish Museum, New York (group)
Imaginary Date Line, presented by Artspace Auckland at The 2015 Venice Biennale (group)
A torch and a light (cover) (curated by Bruce E. Phillips), Te Tuhi, Auckland (solo)
Language is a Virus, School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, Christchurch (group)
These stories began before we arrived, WXY Gallery/Taipei International Book Exhibition, Taipei (group)
Menagerie (curated by Juliana Engberg), Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (group)

Where do I end and you begin, City Art Centre/Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh (group)
Follow the Party of the Whale, The Adam Art Gallery, Wellington (solo)
The 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire (curated by Juliana Engberg), Sydney Artspace; Carriageworks; Cockatoo Island & Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (group)
Towards doing more, The Physics Room, Christchurch (solo)

Freedom Farmers (curated by Natasha Conland), Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki (group)
Puehu: Cultural Dust (curated by Anna-Marie White), The Suter Gallery Nelson Te Aratoi o Whakatu (group)
Moving on Asia: Towards a New Art Network 2004-2013 (curated by Aaron Lister and Mark Williams), City Gallery, Wellington (group)
Te Hiko Hou(curated by Jenny Gillam and Eugene Hansen), The Film Archive, Auckland (group)

New Artists Show (curated by Alex Davidson and Caterina Riva), Artspace, Auckland (group)
Te Hiko Hou (curated by Jenny Gillam and Eugene Hansen), New Zealand Film Archive, Wellington (group)
National Contemporary Art Awards, Waikato Museum, Hamilton (group)


2012 Rita Angus Artist in Residence, Wellington


2016 Walters Prize


Davidson, Alex, ‘Critic’s Picks: Shannon Te Ao’, Artforum, 30 June 2018
Williams, Matariki, ‘The Singing Word: On Shannon Te Ao’s my life as a tunnel’, The Pantograph Punch, 22 June 2018
Hurrell, John, ‘Shannon Te Ao at Te Tuhi’, eyecontact website, 26 January 2018
Patrick, Martin, ‘Re-enactments, remixing, and restaging the contemporary’ in Across the Art/Life Divide: Performance, subjectivity, and social practice in contemporary art. Intellect, The University of Chicago Press, 2017, pp.117-142
Clifford, Andrew, ‘Shannon Te Ao: With the sun aglow, I have my pensive moods’, Contemporary HUM, 4 December 2017
Patrick, Martin, ‘Exploring Posthuman Masquerade and Becoming’ in Animisim in Art and Performance, edited by Chris Braddock, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, pp.213-233
Dunn, Megan, ‘A Wakeful Vigil: Profile of Shannon Te Ao’, ArtAsiaPacific, 25 August 2017
Dunn, Megan, ‘Off the Dome: An Interview with Shannon Te Ao’, The Pantograph Punch, 12 August 2017
Spence, Rachel, ‘Edinburgh art festival – ‘Ideals take time to grow’’, The Financial Times, 5 August 2017
Hurrell, John, ‘Three Shows’, eyecontact website, 30 June, 2017
Khong, En Liang, ‘Critic’s Guide: Edinburgh’, Frieze, 1 August 2017
Cumming, Laura, ‘Edinburgh art festival review – the dark side of Robert Burns’, The Guardian, 30 July 2017
Cornwell, Tim, ‘Edinburgh Art Festival: artists look to Maori traditions, 19th-century botany and jellyfish’, The Art Newspaper, 25 July 2017
Randerson, Janine and Yates, Amanda, ‘Negotiating the Ontological Gap: Place, Performance, and Media Art Practices in Aotearoa/New Zealand’, in Ecocriticism and Indigenous Studies – Conversations from Earth to Cosmos, edited by Joni Adamson and Salma Monani, Routledge, 2016
Byrt, Anthony, ‘Shannon Te Ao, two shoots that stretch far out, 2013–14’, in This Model World: Travels to the Edge of Contemporary Art, Auckland University Press, 2016, pp.153-159
Hurrell, John, ‘Facing Environmental Breakdown’, eyecontact website, 7 September, 2016
Patrick, Martin, ‘Shannon Te Ao’s A torch and a light (cover)’, in Unstuck in Time, edited by Rebecca Lal, Te Tuhi, 2015, pp.53-60
Dunn, Megan, ‘The Abode of Indifference’, CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa, 11 October 2015
Hurrell, John, ‘A New Shannon Te Ao Video’, eyecontact website, 15 July, 2015
Barton, Tina, Riva, Caterina and Anna-Marie White, ‘Shannon Te Ao: I can press my face up against the glass’, The Physics Room, 2014
Kreisler, Aaron, ‘Shannon Te Ao’, in Where do I end and you begin, edited by Sorcha Carey and Jane Connarty, Edinburgh Art Festival, 2014, pp.100-102
Were, Virginia, ‘Materialising Ghosts’, Art News New Zealand, Winter 2014, pp.70-73