Featuring the University of Canterbury Fijian Students Association and new work by Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka
Curated by Ema Tavola
24 November – 24 December 2017
The Physics Room, 209 Tuam Street, Christchurch
In Fijian, kaitani refers to one who is from outside, or from another community, province or country.
As the culmination of curator, Ema Tavola’s residency with the University of Canterbury Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, Kaitani interrogates the presence of Pacific art in the contemporary gallery space.
Accompanying her curatorial manifesto, a short video made during her residency reflects Tavola’s long-held interest in the creation of safe space and genuine engagement of Pacific peoples, their ways of seeing and being, art histories and cultural narratives.
In the work of East Christchurch-based painter, Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka, multisensory memories of Tonga are embedded in his mark making technique. In recent paintings, paraffin lamp smoke-stained canvas captures the ephemerality of time and space in brooding, galactic landscapes of blackness and whiteness and everything in between.
The exhibition’s soundscape pays homage to the unifying act of singing as a group. The Fijian song, Vanua Domoni was sung on the occasion of this year’s Fiji Independence Day by students and community members at the University of Canterbury. The song lyrics reflect a deep love and longing for Fiji, and evokes the pride and identity of Fijians both at home and away.
Tavola’s curatorial manifesto has been written as a result of her residency and copies will be available for the duration of the exhibition. She will discuss her manifesto in the context of the exhibition, along with exhibiting artist Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka in a talanoa / conversation at 1pm, Saturday 25 November.