Media Release
9 July 2015

The head, the hair and the selfie

South Auckland curator, Ema Tavola, is bringing Pacific art to new audiences in a series of three site-specific pop-up exhibitions at a Mt Eden barber and tattoo shop.

The PIMPI Winter Series is a collaboration with Stan Lolohea, art historian, tattooist and owner of Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio. Three exhibitions will be shown over eight weeks featuring over 25 new works from 12 visual artists, and everything is for sale!

“We’ve joined forces to emphasise the entrepreneurial potential of Pacific art and creativity. There seem to be few opportunities for artists to show and sell experimental work, but it’s this exposure and the sales that can be generated, that can give a creative practice quite a bit of momentum,” Ema says.

The exhibitions have been developed to respond to the site and context of the barber shop, the common perceptions of what (and who) defines ‘Pacific art’, and the everyday negotiation of difference living in New Zealand’s largest and most ethnically diverse city.

The artworks will be installed in and around the busy barber shop floor, and the first exhibition of the series, U Can’t Touch This, is a special acknowledgment of the head, the hair and the selfie.

Alongside Mt Eden local, new media artist Siliga David Setoga, the show features the work of three first-time exhibitors; Talafungani Finau and Daisy Tavilione from South Auckland, and Sione Monu based in Canberra, Australia. In adornment, illustration, photography and print, each artist responds to the idea of the head, regarded in many Pacific cultures as the most sacred part of the body.

Ema believes in the quality of making art accessible and relevant, “this is artwork that doesn’t need an art gallery to define it; the work reflects everyday lives, values and shared experience. It’s current and beautiful, informed by Auckland and our place in the world.”

Meet the artists at the exhibition’s Private View events, book in for a haircut or tattoo, or just drop in for a visit. With only a four day turnaround, two more exhibitions will follow U Can’t Touch This and works lists, artist interviews, photos and commentary will be available at www.PIMPIknows.com

Exhibition details

U Can’t Touch This
Featuring: Talafungani Finau, Sione Monu, Siliga David Setoga, Daisy Tavilione
Private View: 6-8pm, Thursday 16 July
Exhibition dates: 16 July – 1 August

The next exhibitions in the PIMPI Winter Series are:

That’s not Pacific Art
Featuring: Faafeu Kapeneta, Ana Lakusa, Qingze Nan, Genevieve Pini
Private View: 6-8pm, Thursday 6 August
Exhibition dates: 6-22 August

Know what I mean, jellybean?
Featuring: Leilani Kake, Niutuiatua Lemalu, Waiora Palalagi, Pati Solomona Tyrell
Private View: 6-8pm, Thursday 27 August
Exhibition dates: 27 August – 12 September

Venue

Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio is located at 159 Mt Eden Road, Auckland.
Opening Hours: Monday, 9am – 6pm; Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 7pm

About Stan Lolohea

Stan Lolohea has been a practicing tattoo artist for more than 10 years working predominantly between Auckland and Melbourne. He opened Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio in 2014, a dedication to his late friend, Willie Halaifonua, an Auckland-based barber who suffered a fatal brain injury whilst playing rugby in 2013. Stan holds a Master of Arts degree in Art History from the University of Auckland.

About Ema Tavola

From 2006-2012, Ema Tavola held the role of Pacific Arts Coordinator for Manukau City Council (later Auckland Council), where she established and managed Fresh Gallery Otara producing over 60 exhibitions, three annual Pacific Arts Summits and co-editing two editions of SOUTH publication. In 2012, Ema was the first curator awarded the Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Award for Contemporary Art, the same year she contributed to the curatorial vision for Home AKL, the first major survey show of Pacific artists at Auckland Art Gallery.

Under the umbrella of PIMPI (Pacific Island Management, Production and Ideas), Ema undertakes consultancy work in project and event management, research, writing and curatorial projects. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Arts Management from AUT University.

Exhibition enquiries

Ema Tavola (Curator)
Email pimpi@pimpiknows.com | Mobile 027 5779369 | Twitter @colourmefiji | Web http://www.PIMPIknows.com

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