Tiffany Singh


NameTiffany Singh (she/her)
Country of BirthAotearoa
Place of ResidenceLondon
EthnicitiesIndian, Pākehā, Sāmoan
ArtformVisual arts, Socially engaged art
Decades Active2010s, 2020s


Tiffany Singh is a London-based installation artist who draws on a range of cultural and spiritual practices to create colourful, immersive and interactive works. She is particularly interested in the relationship between art and well-being. Driven by the social and political potential of collaborative art, Singh has formed Tara Arts International with filmmaker Mandrika Rupa, and the Totally Open Women’s Project with Taiwanese artist Jui-Pin Chang. She has also been a member of Kshetra Collective, alongside other Aotearoa artists of Indian descent.

Singh’s paternal great-grandfather was part of the Girmit, which saw Indian workers arrive in Fiji under indentured labour agreements during the 19th century. Singh, who was born in Aotearoa and is a second-generation New Zealander, grew up in Northcote with her Pākehā mother, but later took on her father’s surname and has recently reconnected with her Sāmoan ancestry (which she traces to her father’s great grandfather, Seumanutafa Puaaefu).

She began her career as a graphic designer before studying painting at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland (graduating in 2008). She credits her mentor Max Gimblett, whom she describes having a deep Buddhist connection with, for encouraging her to explore spirituality and Indian culture. At the age of 24, she travelled to India for the first time, where she ended up living for three years.

Many of Singh’s artworks engage multiple senses: the sound of bamboo chimes moving in the wind, the scent of beeswax, spices and incense, and spectrums of glowing colour. Singh often frames the interactive aspect of her practice as an invitation to participate in small, therapeutic acts of ritual. Her work has been exhibited around the world and internationally. Singh’s work was also shown as part of the 18th Biennale of Sydney in 2012, and The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa commissioned and collected several large works for the reopening of their Toi Art galleries in 2017. These were the first works by a contemporary Aotearoa Indian artist added to the museum’s collections.

In 2021, Singh completed Ororangi, which was commissioned by Precinct Properties (and curated by Paul Baragwanath) for the Commercial Bay development in Tāmaki Makaurau. The work features 40,000 metres of satin ribbon cascading from the ceiling to create a rainbow spectrum, and its name was gifted by Kaumātua Tautoko Witika of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, with the meaning ‘blessings from heaven’.

Writing about South Asian artists in Aotearoa, Dilohana Lekamge has suggested that “Singh is shown widely throughout Aotearoa and is often used to represent our South Asian population in galleries. She is of Pasifika and Asian descent, but her work perpetuates ideas of non-specific Eastern spirituality that are already fashionably embraced and therefore easily marketable in Western cultures.” Singh has previously responded to such criticisms by observing that public participation can inspire “respect for difference” by making different spiritual practices visible.

Singh emphasises collaboration and the contribution of art to well-being and social development as key tenets of her practice. She has undertaken a number of international residencies and commissions, often working with local community groups to produce artwork. The Totally Open Women’s Project seeks to “provide sustainable opportunities for women through craft. [...] repositioning practices such as craft into contemporary, conceptual art contexts”. Singh and Chang have worked with women in Taiwan and Thailand, creating work for exhibition, and Singh says, “The project gives value to the artform of craft and allows women to subsidise their families and to further stabilise the living environment for their Hmong and Amis tribes. This project is an ongoing relationship with women's communities of Asia.”

Tara Arts International, formed with Rupa in 2023, is focused on presenting, exhibiting and publishing, with a particular focus on “subaltern self exiles migrating for religious freedom” to Aotearoa and the Pacific. In 2024, these presentations will include exhibitions of a new work called Vermillion Rising with the International Body of Art in London, and presenting and exhibiting as part of the 30th anniversary of the Pacific Journalism review, at the University of the South Pacific.


Key works / presentations

2023 — Vermillion Rising, International Body of Art, London

2023 — Invisible Narratives, National Portrait Gallery, Pōneke, exhibition by Kshetra Collective

2022 — 2022 Womens International Arts Festival, Taitung

2021 — Ororangi, HSBC Building, Tāmaki Makaurau

2017 — Total Internal Reflection, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Pōneke

2017 — Indra's Bow, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Pōneke

2013 — Fly Me Up To Where You Are, Auckland Arts Festival, Tāmaki Makaurau

2013 — May The Rainbow Always Touch Your Shoulder, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Tāmaki Makaurau

2012 — Knock On The Sky, Listen To The Sound, 18th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney

Key awards

2018 — Artist in residence, Taipei Artist Village, Taipei

2017 — New Generation Award, The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi

2013 — Parehuia McCahon House Artists’ Residency, Tāmaki Makaurau

2013 — Award for bringing together diverse communities, Human Rights Commission, for Fly Me Up To Where You Are

2012 — Artist in residence, NO#1 Shanthi Road, Bangalore, supported by the Asia New Zealand Foundation

Last updated: 3 March 2024 Suggest an Edit