Parekowhai was born in Porirua, New Zealand, of Māori and Pakeha descent and graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 2000. Considered one of New Zealand’s most distinguished contemporary art practitioners, his sculpture, painting and installation-based work tackles key concerns of Māori culture and identity in highly complex works that reveal - through scale and manufacture - the extraordinary in the mundane. Parekowhai’s works thus offer multiple levels of interpretation, as narratives draw upon both the local and collective, high and low culture whilst simultaneously referencing political, cultural, and art historical themes. Parekowhai has taken part in major international exhibitions including the Asia Pacific Triennial (2006-2007), the Gwangju Biennale (2004); Sydney Biennale (2002), Headlands, MCA, Sydney (1992); as well as the major art fairs in Basel, Art Basel (2006, 2007) and LISTE (2007). In 2001, Parekowhai became an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate and he currently holds the position of Associate Professor in Fine Arts at the University of Auckland.