See you in Nuku'alofa next month
Kolofeke: how Tongan artists are remaking Auckland
A public seminar by Dr Scott Hamilton
Seven o'clock, Monday the 18th of April, 'Atenisi Institute, Longolongo
Twenty-first century Auckland teems with Tongan painters, sculptors, photographers, video makers, and performance artists. Some of these artists grew up in Auckland; others settled in the city as children or adults. Some return regularly to Tonga; others rely on talanoa at kava circles and images on facebook to keep in touch with their homeland. Auckland is a rambling and diverse city - the poet Karlo Mila likened it to an octopus - and Tongan artists have responded to its pleasures and frustrations in myriad ways.
Dr Scott Hamilton has been a fan of contemporary Tongan art for years, and has written a series of essays about the Tongan artists of Auckland for EyeContact, New Zealand's most widely read arts journal. In his seminar at the 'Atenisi Institute Hamilton will explain how Auckland's Tongan artists have helped him to think about his hometown in new ways.
Hamilton will discuss Kalisolaite 'Uhila, the performance artist who locked himself into a shipping container to memorialise the journeys of Tongan stowaways to Nu'usila, and shared a room with a puaka to examine the suffering of Tongan prodigal sons living far from their homeland; John Vea, who makes talo-shaped sculptures out of plaster and leaves them on Auckland's streets to draw attention to the role that Pacific labourers play in creating the city's wealth; Visesio Siasau, whose award-winning ngatu and sculptures juxtapose ancient Tongan gods like Hikuele'o with Sisu Kalaisi and his saints; Benjamin Work, who has taken the hieroglyphs of ancient 'akau tau and painted them in red and black onto the walls of Auckland's streets and galleries; Tui Emma Gillies, who covers ngatu with the unique sub-species of laione bred in Tonga; and Salome Tanuvasa, who has taken her video camera into factories and hotels where Tongan emigrants to Auckland work.
|[This is Benjamin Work, posing with the hieroglyphs he discovered on ancient Tongan war clubs.]|