Posts tagged ‘Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio’

IMG_2696

Whilst I was in Suva last month, project managing / co-curating The Veiqia Project and the important process of embedding and grounding the project in Fiji, I started to tune into how many people were asking for meaning, as in digestible translations of the visual vocabulary of Fijian qia or tattoo markings.

The Veiqia Project is a creative research project that has engaged seven Fijian artists to uncover, encounter and respond to the practice of Fijian female tattooing through museum visits, dialogue and literature. Four of the seven artists were able to travel to Fiji to undertake research, talks and meetings and spend time with Melanesian tatu practitioner Julia Mage’au Gray (Papua New Guinea – Australia), who has been researching and reviving tatu practice from Central Province, Papua New Guinea, and developing understanding of its wider relationship to tattoo practice across Oceania.

We came across some fascinating illustrations of qia motifs and designs in the Fiji Museum library. They were recorded in the late 1800s and said to be from the province of Ra. Whilst some notes were made on what the motifs represented (from the perspective of the non-Fijian author), it feels as if meaning associated with this visual language is not something we will ever fully understand.

The artists are working hard, excavating the social, cultural, artistic contexts of the practice of veiqia / Fijian tattooing. And it’s here, meaning is made; they will each interpret their experience of uncovering  knowledge about our cultural heritage as Fijian women into new work, and it’s hoped that the exhibition will tour, evolving to include more Fijian artists and communities.

I was tattooed over the weekend by Julia in Auckland at Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio. She marked both my arms and hands with qia motifs and symbols we encountered in Fiji. For me, the meaning of these marks is related to revival and memory, Fijian art history and the power and prestige of an artform reserved exclusively for women and girls. These tattoos are part of my identity as a Fijian woman, as an artist, as a Melanesian. The meaning of my marks in 2015 is mine; they sit between you and me, perception and reality, art and context…

I woke up yesterday thinking, of all my tattoos, these are my most important marks. They challenge ideas about beauty and aesthetics, history and colonisation, gender and power; they visualise my position, and galvanise my love and loyalty for Fiji.

It’s the last few days of the PIMPI Winter Series, an experimental series of pop-up exhibitions produced in partnership with Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio on Auckland’s Mt Eden Road. The last day of the current show is THIS Saturday 12 September there are six works left for sale, check them out…

Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik | Noodles
420 x 594mm, Colour Accent Print on 200gsm Fuji Film Satin Finish paper (Edition of 2)

$450 [Framed]
Waiora Palalagi

… for the paper (2015)
610 x 910mm, oil on canvas
$780
Niutuiatua Lemalu

stella fella’ | is there dirt beneath the dirt?
Both 550 x 760mm, oil on canvas
$650
Niutuiatua Lemalu

MALE – Maori or Polynesian (2015)
915 x 760 x 25mm, lenticular print (Edition of 1)
$1950
Leilani Kake

** All prices in New Zealand dollars, payment via cash, bank deposit or PayPal only.
** Artwork available for collection 4pm, Saturday 12 September.

Artwork enquiries

I love painting, and I love collecting paintings. Niutuiatua Lemalu’s works in my personal collection give me life everyday, and often scare visiting children, but I love them a lot. Know what I mean, jellybean? is the final show in the inaugural PIMPI Winter Series and the exhibition’s themes inspired the South Auckland-based painter to make three brand new oil paintings…

Niu! It has been a while! You had a solo painting exhibition at Fresh Gallery Otara almost exactly five years ago – what have you been up to?

Yeah it’s scary to think that exactly five years ago Alias was opening, must be a sign. I’ve been mostly working. I seriously considered making a go at having another show but decided to put those on hold, primarily for economic reasons. The struggle is real.

Your Alias (2010) body of work investigated masking and the layers that make up identity, the acts of revealing, hiding, being exposed. The premise of Know what I mean, jellybean? for the PIMPI Winter Series, made me think of you straight away; I’m so happy that you’ve been inspired to make three beautiful new paintings. Tell me about them!

Yes and thanks Ema for this opportunity, I was very excited when you approached me about the show particularly because I felt like “Know what I mean jellybean?” struck a personal chord. I mean, that phrase for one has probably popped up in a LOT of conversations so to me it offered a possibility of discourse, a starting and departure point; about gangs, fitting in, not quite fitting in, nostalgia, popular culture, success, failure, youth, marginalisation, politics, the ghetto, religion, family etc… Talking about my recent works is kind of difficult mainly because my first instinct is to rely on memory to describe the experience of making these works and also because painting has a way of flipping the script on you. Looking at them as they are now there’s somewhat of a departure from the original thoughts I had when I initially found out about the exhibition.

Initially I’d find some images that were direct and in your face. But there’s a kind of absurdity that goes hand in hand with trying to make painting go along with an idea. I mean the material is so crass and dumb and then it always becomes like a physical thing to make a painting submit to an idea – it refuses to lie down or be invisible and in the end no matter how fast your ideas are or even if you’re painting from an image and you don’t have to worry about something basic like, composition you still find yourself watching and waiting. So yeah, there’s some frustration in there, failure, a little bit of awkwardness and humour or not quite fitting in, a kind of longing to find the zeitgeist and not quite attaining it.

This exhibition is an attempt to visualise the interface and negotiation of difference in the spaces between cultures, class, gender. Your work is in excellent company alongside new and recent work by Leilani Kake, Waiora Palalagi and Pati Solomona Tyrell. I’ve worked with you in a traditional gallery context, deeply embedded South Auckland kaupapa; what did you think when I pitched the idea of being part of a Pacific art exhibition in a barber and tattoo studio in Mt Eden, central Auckland?

My first thought was “cool”, besides I don’t know of many people who wake up and think “hhhmmmm, I think I’ll go visit my local gallery today” and I’m an artist! Barber shops/tattoo studios on the other hand…… Seriously though, I like the idea that this could potentially be a lot more accessible to the public. I know that art galleries and museums are always heading this way too but I’ve always felt that they targeted a specific audience and the pre- requisites to enter a gallery would be a degree in art history or something! By the way this is not necessarily how it is everywhere, just a personal observation.

You’ve got mad skills, and I remember your family taking the opportunity at your artist talk at Fresh to call you out on the paintings they wanted you to give to them!! I loved that! I’m interested in the prolific practice of banner painting, key making and memorial t-shirt design; a creative economy which happens every day in the Pacific community. To me, this is contemporary Pacific art in practice; art that speaks to Pacific people, values lived experience, love, family, history. I know you’ve done your fair share of banners; what’s your views on banners, on painting for exhibitions, and the difference in audience and value, meaning and purpose?

I know my family’s pretty hardcore when it comes to supporting anyone in the family. Speaking of family my mum and dad would volunteer me to do banners towards the end of high school for church and other family members. I’d been painting since 5th form so I guess they had to find out whether I was any good or not (LOL). Banners feel like what I would imagine doing a commissioned piece would be like, only with probably a lot less creative freedom, give or take. Doing banners can be physically exhausting because of the sheer size of some and also because you’re having to negotiate around time constraints, skill limitations, whether or not the people you’re doing it for have a clear idea of what they want. Most times it’s; here’s the theme, here’s the materials and away you go. On very rare occasions you get someone who is very specific, like my aunty; which is good because someone else is calling the shots and making the decisions so it’s easier. You instantly know whether it’s a success or not based on whether someone likes it, or not. Most times the target audience are just hella grateful. I don’t think there’s ever been a time I’ve received a bad comment or where my banners have been received poorly, even in instances where I am not too happy about the end product or where I felt that I could have done better but there’s a perceived priceless exchange, almost sentimental to whoever you’re doing it for.

Painting outside of this is a lot more anxious, no one really knows what’s good. I mean painting has so much baggage, it’s been pronounced dead and revived so many times, yet people are still finding stuff to do. Maybe I chose to paint because of this possibility of resistance.

Know what I mean, jellybean?
27 August – 12 September
Featuring Leilani Kake, Niutuiatua Lemalu, Waiora Palalagi, Pati Solomona Tyrell

Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio is located at 159 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden, Auckland. Open Mondays from 9am-6pm, Tuesday-Saturday from 9am-7pm. Barber and tattoo appointments and enquiries: / bigwillie.barber.tattoo.studio@gmail.com

Exhibition and Artwork Enquiries

Writing media releases is not a strength of mine. I’ve had the privilege of working with some excellent marketing heads in the past; they’ve taken my words and created digestible, broad appeal information that gives mainstream mana to projects which generally sit comfortably within the margins.

Producing a series of exhibitions in a non-conventional, central Auckland commercial space, with an agenda of selling art and engaging broad and diverse audiences, on a minimal budget, has forced me out of my comfort zone. These exhibitions couldn’t exist ‘comfortably within the margins’; they needed to be translated, positioned, re-valued… or did they?

As the PIMPI Winter Series has rolled out, the deeper purpose and complexity of what I set out to do has revealed itself to me day by day, online and off, in conversations and silent observations. In this space between commerce and creativity, the perceived margins and the centre, where skin is marked and hair is cut, the exhibitions are encountered largely unintentionally by wandering eyes, passers by, social media followers and waiting mates, spouses and children.

Partner in the PIMPI Winter Series, and owner of Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio, Stan Lolohea, has challenged and invigorated my thinking at every stage. Outside of the conventions of an art gallery, who are these shows for? And does increasing the net of general awareness create more genuine interest? Does an exhibition grow the scope, care and engagement between audiences, groups… does it facilitate understanding, conversation and debate across class, race, gender divides?

View this post on Instagram

It got deep at @bigwillielegacy_barber_tattoo tonight! 🌊 Stan, Leilani and I installed "That's not #PacificArt", the second group show I've curated for the #PIMPIWinterSeries featuring new and recent work by Faafeu Kapeneta, Ana Lakusa, Qingze Nan and Genevieve Pini. My mind is still short-circuiting around issues of who buys, appreciates, promotes (Pacific) art, the constructed spaces that (re)define meaning, value… The money making secrets and lies around what art / artists are seen to be successful… what's the value of producing Pacific art exhibitions in a barber and tattoo studio in Mt Eden, when will Leilani and I ever open our art gallery slash art school?! So much meat (beef?), so little time! Tomorrow night join us for a drink, good music by DJ Skeez, and a reeeeelax! No heavy chit chat, just a kick back… 6-8pm, 159 Mt Eden Road, Central Awkland 🍷

A post shared by #PIMPIknows (@pimpiknows) on

 

I’ve found producing these exhibitions so completely refreshing, a total love-project with no funding, but built on the back of a strong forgiving partnership (vinaka vakalevu Stan), and carried by my family, who have shared the load (malo ‘aupito Taka, Si’i, Lini, Tu’i). I had found myself working from funding round to funding round, writing late night proposals, planning, pitching, failing… I needed to get back to the grassroots of what I love to do and flex my curatorial muscle.

DIY curating is a full To Do list most days, but the hosting, promo, multiple trips to Warehouse Stationary, the framers, finding excellent deals on good wine, getting my earth-thrills from using corn-based bioplastic cups… I’ve loved it all! But mostly, it has been a privilege to gently hustle these 12 talented and clever artists, facilitating sales for many of them, instigating new work and fresh thinking.

I’m grateful for the partnerships, support and online engagement that has pushed out the potential of these shows. To those who have bought work – thank you, and to those who have given their time and skills: Lana Lopesi, Ralph Brown, Sean Atavenitia for South Auckland Photography, Sangeeta Singh, Leilani Kake – I’m deeply grateful. Thanks also to the residents of Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio, Duss, Damian and Willy – I’ve been totally inspired watching you work!

The Private Views / Opening receptions for the PIMPI Winter Series have been too cool. Eclectic, diverse audiences… family, friends, colleagues, locals, South Aucklanders too! To those who travel from near and far to support these artists – thank you so much! It means a lot. Check out this badass video by South Auckland Photography:

//

Here’s an interview Stan and I did with Radio New Zealand reporter, Justin Gregory, aired on Friday 7 August:

 

And there’s still ONE MORE SHOW to go!

Please join us from 6pm on Thursday 27 August at Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio, 159 Mt Eden Road, central Auckland to mark the opening of Know what I mean, jellybean? featuring new and recent work by Leilani Kake, Niutuiatua Lemalu, Waiora Palalagi and Pati Solomona Tyrell – all work is for sale!

Click-Click-Follow on Instagram and Facebook for real time happenings!

The PIMPI Winter Series kicked off on Thursday 16 July with the opening of U Can’t Touch This, a group show featuring new work by Talafungani Finau, Sione Monu, Siliga David Setoga and Daisy Tavilione.

The exhibition’s private view was well attended by friends, family, art peers and locals. Drinks were served by the beautiful Lini, and four of the 11 works were sold on the night. Plans to do an interesting ‘not Pacific art’ tattoo performance with ARTSPACE Director, Misal Adnan Yildiz were hatched, and stories and memories shared of Mt Eden’s interesting art history and shifting demographics. The shop was filled with talanoa and laughter, Island reggae and the buzzing of the tattoo machine – a dream opening!

I’m super grateful for the opportunity to work with Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio. Thank you to barber, Willy, for letting us share your space. And thank you Raymond Sagapolutele and Iokapeta Magele-Suamasi for taking beautiful shots on opening night.

U Can’t Touch This is up until Saturday 1 August, all artwork sold is available for collection from Monday 3 August. The next exhibition in the series, That’s not Pacific Art features new and recent work by Fa’afeu Kapeneta, ‘Ana Lakusa, Qingze Nan and Genevieve Pini. It opens on Thursday 6 August from 6-8pm at Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studioall welcome!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

WORKS LIST

Hilifaki kahoa (2015) SOLD
Mixed media
$50
Talafungani Finau

King George Tupou was here #1 SOLD, #2, #3 SOLD
All 2015, ink on cartridge paper, signed
$350 [Framed]

Fresh cuts (2015)
Inkjet print on Hahnemühle Matt FineArt paper
$150 [Framed]
Sione Monu

Oki fa’akama Samoa moni lou ulu / Cut your hair like a true Samoan boy (2015)
Photograph 2014, photographer Setoga Setoga II
Edition of 5
Inkjet print on Hahnemühle Matt FineArt paper
$3000 [Framed]

Shaving (2013)
Edition of 5
Inkjet print on Hahnemühle Matt FineArt paper
$1200 [Unframed]
Siliga David Setoga

Green Flava in Ya Ear SOLD
Pink Supa Dupa Fly
Orange Shook Onez
Yellow Rebirth of Slick

All 2015, ink on Fabriano Artistico 100% cotton, acid-free paper
$200 each [Framed]
Daisy Tavilione

U Can’t Touch This
Curated by Ema Tavola for Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio
16 July – 1 August 2015

Artwork enquiries
Ema Tavola (Curator) | Email pimpi@pimpiknows.com | Mobile 027 5779369 | Web www.PIMPIknows.com

Siliga David Setoga, 2014

Oki fa’akama Samoa moni lou ulu / Cut your hair like a true Samoan boy (2015)
Siliga David Setoga
Photography by Setoga Setoga II (2014)
Edition of 5
1000x800mm
Inkjet print on Hahnemühle Matt FineArt paper
NZD$2400

Check this work out in U Can’t Touch This, the first of three exhibitions that make up the inaugural PIMPI Winter Series opening Thursday 16 July at Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio, 159 Mt Eden Road, central Auckland.

Siliga David Setoga has just been announced as the 2015 recipient of the Creative New Zealand Artist Residency at the National University of Samoa. Read more here.

Artwork Enquiries

Sione Monu is a Canberra-based visual artist whose first exhibition will be U Can’t Touch This, part of the PIMPI Winter Series at Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio. We connected on Instagram, then via email and later in person. I asked him a few questions about his work and ideas…

I came across your work via the Pacific Photobooks project – it looked like a really great opportunity to learn and network with some cool Pacific image makers. How did that experience influence your practice?

Pacific Photobooks was very major for me in networking and learning from Pacific image makers definitely. It was a series of workshops every Saturday in Sydney for Pacific Islander youth to learn from established artists of Pacific decent. We were taught how to use manual on our SLR cameras which I was surprised at how much we can manipulate how the picture comes out before even editing it on Photoshop! It was great. Also being surrounded by Poly artists and listening to them talk about their practice was very inspiring and opened my eyes to the possibilities for us young Poly artists.

Your Instagram is this beautiful archive of your work and experiences, and your selfie game is on point! Do you see digital self-portraiture as a screen-based practice? I’m wondering, do you think something is lost when these images get printed and presented as tangible things?

I love how you put it in your recent blog post where you describe my Instagram as a “gentle insight into Tongan experience in Australia’s capital city.” I’ve always been shy and introverted growing up so Instagram has been this incredible thing for me to express myself and connect with people I wouldn’t have otherwise. Definitely, digital self-portraiture as a screen-based practice seems a natural progression to me especially being part of this technological generation, the possibilities are endless. I do feel something is lost when images are printed and put on a wall, behind another wall, behind a glass door. Too many walls for my liking I think haha! Though I’m sure it’s not so black and white but I just love how accessible Instagram is. I’ve connected with so many people from so many different demographics! All this from a little “selfie” app! It’s really amazing.

I’m so glad that your work is having its first showing in Aotearoa at Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio for the PIMPI Winter Series! You came to Auckland recently and seemed to get a lot done! What were your impressions of the city?

Yes! I’m super excited also! My first ever exhibition! I was recently in Auckland for a great uncle’s funeral. After the funeral I contacted as many Pacific Islander artists based in Auckland that I follow on Instagram for meet ups. I had a good talk with you and Stan over a coffee and coconut ice cream which was fabulous. I got to meet many other artists based in Auckland who I admire very much. It’s been a roller-coaster ride of experiences even now I’m still trying to process it all! Auckland city was alright I guess but south Auckland really has stolen my heart. My morning runs up the local mountains was definitely one of my favourite things about my stay.  I’m actually looking to move over in the near future, and just find my own little space in this beautiful land. Thank the universe for my parents never changing my citizenship to Australian! So I’m still a kiwi y’all! Haha!

You seem to have a big Insta-fan-base with the Pacific arts community – I think there’s a general feeling that your work is fresh to death! I’m excited to see where your practice will take you, but I’m wondering, what’s your big picture, what would be your ideal art future?

My female cousins taught me early the fine art of Instagram/Facebook stalking. But I would spend my stalking sessions stalking Pacific arts people! Haha! And now I have many Pacific arts community followers thanks to my stalking skills, which is nice. What’s my big picture? Well I have keen interests in so many mediums so I’ll just keep sharing my designs, photographs, videos clips, fashion illustrations, with the world through Instagram until the universe says what’s next I guess. As for my art future, something that incorporates all my interests would be a long shot… but a girl can dream!

“King George Tupou was here #2”, one of three illustrations for sale in “U Can’t Touch This”

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

Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio is located at 159 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden, Auckland. Open Mondays from 9am-6pm, Tuesday-Saturday from 9am-7pm. Barber and tattoo appointments and enquiries: (09) 630 4380 / bigwillie.barber.tattoo.studio@gmail.com

Exhibition & Artwork Enquiries:

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

In the first of three two-week exhibitions that make up the inaugural PIMPI Winter Series, U Can’t Touch This is a site-specific group show that acknowledges the head, the hair and the selfie. In many parts of Oceania, the head is the most sacred part of the body, and in the words of Stanley Kirk Burrell, U Can’t Touch This!

Situated in and around the barber shop floor, four Pacific artists have created new work about the head (literally), and the most important and sacred parts of life. Alongside Mt Eden local, Samoan new media artist Siliga David Setoga, this show features the work of three first-time exhibitors, Talafungani Finau, Sione Monu and Daisy Tavilione. Each artist responds to the exhibition’s themes and context with custom pieces ranging from adornment to illustration, photography and print.

Canberra-based Tongan visual artist Sione Monu has established a keen following for his photography, painting and illustration work on Instagram. Beyond the indulgence of selfie-representation, he explores the potential of digital self-portraiture using apps, props, environments and people in his life, offering gentle insights into Tongan experience in Australia’s capital city. Monu’s whimsical illustrations are part fashion, part colonial sketchbook, suggestive of the loaded spaces between self and other, what is seen and who is looking.

West Papua and the work of Auckland-based collective, Oceania Interrupted, has informed and inspired South Auckland-based Tongan maker Talafungani Finau. Her custom-made garland is an ode to the past and future of the embattled Melanesian territory currently occupied by Indonesia. Commonly used to celebrate achievement and meaningful moments, the work acknowledges the surge of awareness and support amongst the Pacific community for the plight of West Papua and the ongoing fight for independence.

Daisy Tavilione‘s playfully reworked family portraits capture the influence of African American popular culture, hair and style on urban Polynesian experience in Aotearoa. Her series of fluro hand-pulled screen prints is based on illustrations of her family’s abundant photographic portrait collection; studio-based, classically posed and controlled reminders of familial bonds and pictorial genealogy. In the adding and subtracting of features and patterns, Tavilione’s new portraits speak to a wider blended experience of Poly-global history and fiction.

In Siliga David Setoga‘s new work he addresses the cultural expectations and binaries of long versus short hair. His noted performance practice is reflected in two new photographic and print works that focus on the process and stages  of having his own hair cut. With a background in the T-shirt trade, Setoga has a keen interest in accessing new audiences with his trademark visual style and pointed cultural commentary.

U Can’t Touch This is the first exhibition in the inaugural PIMPI Winter Series. Over eight weeks, three site specific exhibitions open back-to-back showcasing the work of 12 visual artists of Asian-Pacific heritage at Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio. The initiative is a collaboration between Ema Tavola (Curator) and Stan Lolohea (Owner-Operator) to celebrate new ways to consider Pacific art, ideas and experience in Aotearoa New Zealand. As a collaboration between two Pacific business entities, the PIMPI Winter Series also aims to enable Pacific artists to show and sell new work to support their professional development and audience exposure.

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

Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio is located at 159 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden, Auckland.
Open Mondays from 9am-6pm, Tuesday-Saturday from 9am-7pm.
Appointments and enquiries: (09) 630 4380 / bigwillie.barber.tattoo.studio@gmail.com


Exhibition and Artwork Enquiries

%d bloggers like this: