KAKINIIT/HIVONIGHIJOTAA: Inuit Embodied Practices & Meanings opens at WAG-Qaumajuq

Produced in partnership with Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq/Pijariuqsarniq Project, exhibition explores traditional Inuit tattooing 

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty No. 1 Territory, April 21, 2022: The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq is excited to announce the opening of KAKINIIT/HIVONIGHIJOTAA: Inuit Embodied Practices & Meanings, a new exhibition curated by Zoe Ohokannoak with the mentorship of Jocelyn Piirainen, Associate Curator of Inuit Art at WAG-Qaumajuq. Kakiniit – Inuit traditional tattoos – are a vital part of Inuit identity. The tattoos were once banned by missionaries, and only within the last decade have they seen a revitalization within the community. 

KAKINIIT/HIVONIGHIJOTAA: Inuit Embodied Practices & Meanings explores Indigenous cultural reclamation and Inuit tradition and cultural identity through the process of Inuit tattooing and its connection to shamanism. The exhibition is produced in partnership with Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq/Pijariuqsarniq Project for the 22nd Inuit Studies Conference: Auviqsaqtut, taking place in Treaty 1 Territory June 19-22, 2022. 

KAKINIIT/HIVONIGHIJOTAA: Inuit Embodied Practices & Meanings opens April 23, 2022. 


Quick Facts:
  

  • KAKINIIT/HIVONIGHIJOTAA: Inuit Embodied Practices & Meanings is curated by Zoe Ohokannoak, Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership Illinniaqtuk/Student, with the mentorship of Jocelyn Piirainen, Associate Curator of Inuit Art at WAG-Qaumajuq. Both curators are from Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), Nunavut. 
  • Artists featured in KAKINIIT/HIVONIGHIJOTAA include Akitiq Sanguya, Omalluq Oshutsiaq, Maudie Rachel Okittuq, Germaine Arnaktauyok, William Noah, Jessie Oonark, Manasie Akpaliapik, Matthew Aqiggaaq, Abraham Kingmiaqtuq, Suzanne Tupitnerk Mablik, Paul Toolooktook, Ningiukulu Teevee, and Judas Ullulaq. 
  • Artwork is from the WAG’s extensive permanent collection of Inuit art and the Government of Nunavut Collection, on long-term loan to WAG-Qaumajuq. 
  • Kakiniit (Inuit traditional tattoos) are a vital part of Inuit identity. The tattoos were once banned by missionaries, and only within the last decade have they seen a revitalization. 
  • KAKINIIT/HIVONIGHIJOTAA: Inuit Embodied Practices & Meanings is produced in partnership with Inuit Futures as a part of the 22nd Inuit Studies Conference: Auviqsaqtut. 
  • KAKINIIT/HIVONIGHIJOTAA: Inuit Embodied Practices & Meanings opens April 23, 2022 and runs until July 2022.  


Quotes:
 

“Inuit Embodied practices vary across the north in meaning and values. From individual experiences, community, family, gender, partnership, motherhood and so on. This exhibition is to show the process of traditional Inuit tattoos, and that does not only include an individual being tattooed but the thoughts, care, meaning, and history behind it.” 

Zoe Ohokannoak, Guest Curator, KAKINIIT/HIVONIGHIJOTAA: Inuit Embodied Practices & Meanings

 

“It was wonderful to assist and mentor Zoe with this exhibition. Kakiniit are a vital part to Inuit history and our culture, and I am glad that Zoe has highlighted their importance and beauty within the works chosen from the expansive WAG-Qaumajuq Inuit art collection.” 

Jocelyn Piirainen, Associate Curator of Inuit Art, WAG-Qaumajuq

 

“The curators have created something vital and compelling with KAKINIIT/HIVONIGHIJOTAA; the gallery space is full with stunning art from exemplary Inuit artists. It’s a show not to be missed.” 

Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, WAG-Qaumajuq 

 

“Zoe’s in-depth work in the WAG-Qaumajuq and Nunavut Government collections under the mentorship of Associate Curator of Inuit Art Jocelyn Piirainen has resulted in a thoughtful and engaging exhibition on Inuit tattoo practices and their ongoing importance to Inuit today. I think this show really demonstrates what’s possible, and what’s exciting, about the Inuit Futures program—it allows emerging artists and other postsecondary students the opportunity to experiment and learn in institutions and to design projects based on their own interests, priorities, perspectives, ideas and research. KAKINIIT/HIVONIGHIJOTAA is a stellar first exhibition for an emerging curator, we can’t wait to see what they do next! We’re grateful to everyone at the WAG for their ongoing partnership and for creating such great opportunities for Illiniaqtuit.” 

Dr. Heather Igloliorte, Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq / Pijariuqsarniq Project 


Partnership

Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq / Pijariuqsarniq Project supports Inuit and Inuvialuit to become leaders within their communities in all areas of the arts by providing innovative, hands-on mentoring and training opportunities across the North and South. The WAG is honored to be a significant and regular partner of Inuit Futures in their mission to develop skills, and to improve readiness for careers in the arts while creating a new generation of knowledge creators. 


Associated Links
  

KAKINIIT/HIVONIGHIJOTAA: Inuit Embodied Practices & Meanings
Inuit Futures
Inuit Studies Conference 2022: Auviqsaqtut  


Stay Connected
  

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram #atwag 

  

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For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:  

Hanna Waswa
Public Relations Officer
Winnipeg Art Gallery
204.789.1295
hwaswa@wag.ca
 

Amy Rebecca Harrison
Manager of Engagement
Winnipeg Art Gallery
204.789.1347
aharrison@wag.ca 

 

The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq is a cultural advocate using art to connect, inspire, and inform. Playing a dynamic role in the community, we are a place for learning, dialogue, and enjoyment through art. Opened in March 2021, Qaumajuq connects to the WAG on all levels, celebrating the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. The new WAG-Qaumajuq cultural campus is now one of the largest art museums in Canada. To learn more visit wag.ca. 

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