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Social Networking Phenomenon Features At Gallery

Media Release
19 March 2008

Social Networking Phenomenon Features At Fresh Gallery Otara

One of the most popular social networking sites used in New Zealand is the inspiration behind an amazing new exhibition at Manukau City Council’s Fresh Gallery Otara.

TOP 16, a solo exhibition by Auckland-based artist Janet Lilo, looks at how thousands of New Zealanders, especially Maori and Pacific youth, profile themselves, keep in touch with friends and share news and photos on the international site Bebo.

Social networking sites are gaining huge attention throughout New Zealand. Over the past five years, Lilo has gathered together videos and photos that document people expressing themselves in all sorts of ways. Whether they are self-portraits or photos of friends and family, Lilo says it's all about profiling yourself.

Pacific Arts Coordinator Ema Tavola says, “Young people are creating complex profiles on Bebo, uploading photos and messages that link them to a global network of Bebo users. TOP 16 is an exciting exhibition that emulates the Bebo experience and offers a chance for people to get a glimpse of how powerful it is as a social phenomenon.”

Janet Lilo will be speaking about her practice and the ideas behind TOP 16 in a floor talk on Saturday, 29 March at 11am. Visitors are welcome to join her, Aaron Taouma (Chair, Pacific Island Media Association) and Allen Vili, (aka Onesian) in a panel discussion about Bebo - The Social Phenomenon at 12.30pm. It promises to be a lively, informed and eye-opening debate.

This is the first time Janet Lilo has brought her work to Fresh Gallery Otara having previously shown TOP 16 at Auckland’s St. Paul Street Gallery.

The exhibition is part of the month-long Celebrate Pasifika festival.


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