In a glass gallery filled with pink light, Emiko Sheehan lies on a small rug, with a TV in front of her.
Bathed in blue light, Emiko Sheehan sings into a microphone while wearing a white wig and silver dress.
Bathed in orange light, Emiko Sheehan watches herself on a TV while lying on a rug.
Emiko Sheehan sits next to a giant sushi roll while wearing a red dress and white wig.
Emiko Sheehan rides a giant sushi roll while being chased by bluff oysters across the sky.
Emiko Sheehan stands in a New Zealand landscape, wearing a red dress and white wig with red boots.

Feature: Moonchild

This work came from an environment of over-stimulation, exhaustion and existential identity crisis during my final year of university. Fatigued by trying to fit in, bored of searching for my authentic self …………. So why not reach for the stars? Satire seemed like a relief, each performance as Moonchild was full of the deepest desires and yearnings of my heart, while also making fun of them. It was a way for my sometimes-shy Cancerian nature to press up against the huge feels and project them outwards, to highlight the awkwardness of not feeling like I fitted my Japanese/Māori skin. I’ve become more comfortable since.

— Emiko Sheehan, November 2023

About the artist

Emiko Sheehan (Japanese, Māori: Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Kahu Ngāti Unu, Waikato Tainui, Raukawa, Tūwharetoa) is a multidisciplinary artist who has worked across drawing, writing, video, printmaking, Harakeke, installation and performance. Emiko’s works often explore themes of identity and indigeneity from both her Japanese and Māori whakapapa. Recently she has been exploring the intimacies of muka, and reflecting on Te Pā Harakeke as an extension of her own whānau. Emiko sees Harakeke as whakapapa, which she is handing down to her pēpi, as her mother handed it to her. Over the past couple of years Emiko has been exploring whakapapa as a resource and education base to frame her works and reframe her understanding of time, seeing this as an act of resistance to Western constructs of time and a reclamation of her indigeneity.