Posts tagged ‘Stan Lolohea’

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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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

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I’ve been dreaming about establishing another gallery in South Auckland. I love curating, I love selling art and I love collaborating with artists to make good shows that contribute to broadening awareness and understanding of Pacific ways of seeing and being in Auckland, New Zealand.

Whilst I’m hopeful my one-day gallery is in the near future, in the meantime I’ve collaborated with Tongan tattoo artist, Stan Lolohea to develop the PIMPI Winter Series: a series of three pop-up exhibitions at his Mt Eden barber and tattoo studio. We’re working with 12 artists over eight weeks facilitating the presentation of around 25 individual pieces of work, most of which has never been exhibited before, and all work is for sale!

These artists excite me! From Canberra-based Sione Monu, the Brown-Instagram-famous selfie savant, Faafeu Kapeneta, photographing the small but visible Tongan community in rural Marlborough, to visual arts students Qingze Nan, Daisy Tavilione and Pati Solomona Tyrell, each making experimental, bold work at MIT Faculty of Creative Arts in the heart of Otara, South Auckland.

I feel super privileged that for some of these artists, this is their first exhibition. Some are Pacific art regulars, whilst others have been fairly quiet on the exhibition scene. The PIMPI Winter Series has been a call to action, inspiring new work and a different context for engaging with Pacific art and ideas.

U Can’t Touch This (16 July – 1 August) features Talafungani Finau, Sione Monu, Siliga David Setoga and Daisy Tavilione. In the first of the series, this site specific exhibition acknowledges the head, the hair and the selfie. In Fiji, like many parts of Oceania, the head is the most sacred part of the body; 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. In references to family portraiture and the celebratory lei (garland), there are acknowledgements of nature and culture, life and death, loved ones and idols.

That’s not Pacific Art (6 – 22 August) features Faafeu Kapeneta, ‘Ana Lakusa, Qingze Nan and Genevieve Pini. Inspired by conversations around definitions, problematic terminology, authorship and belonging, this exhibition confronts popular expectations of what Pacific art is / should be. Some work deviates from direct references to identity and community, people and places, others present perplexing juxtapositions of tradition, human and geographical landscapes.

Know what I mean, jellybean? (27 August – 12 September) features Leilani Kake, Niutuiatua Lemalu, Waiora Palalagi and Pati Solomona Tyrell. In reference to a line from the movie Blood In, Blood Out, this exhibition touches on the idea of cultural chameleonism, and the everyday negotiation of difference across and between cultural and social environments, vernacular and humour, ways of being and seeing.

Meet the artists at the PIMPI Winter Series Private Views, pick up a copy of Stan Lolohea’s essay and get in quick – artwork is priced to sell!

Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio

 

Big Willie Legacy Barber & Tattoo Studio is located at 159 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden, Auckland. It’s open Mondays from 9am-6pm, Tuesday-Saturday from 9am-7pm.

Appointments and enquiries: (09) 630 4380 / bigwillie.barber.tattoo.studio@gmail.com

 

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