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Award-winning King Kapisi to build overseas market


Award-winning King Kapisi to build overseas markets

Pacific Arts Committee announces grants

Award-winning Samoan hip hop artist King Kapisi (aka Bill Urale) is exploring new markets in Europe, Britain and the United States, armed with the release of his second album and a $10,000 grant from the Pacific Arts Committee of Creative New Zealand.

King Kapisi’s first album, Savage Thoughts, is nearing Platinum sales while his second album, 2nd Round Testament, was released last week through Festival Mushroom Records. The second single from this album, You Can’t Resist Us, is currently sitting at number 11 on the national singles chart and was certified gold upon release.

“With two albums and more than eight music videos under my belt, I believe this is the right time for me to move into the wider international arena,” Bill Urale said.

Also profiling Pacific arts internationally is Pasifika Divas, a group of fa’afine artists based in Auckland. Pasifika Divas, who stole the show at the Asia-Pacific Triennial in Brisbane last year, were offered a $12,000 grant to showcase dance, body adornment, singing and multimedia at Intransit, an arts festival of indigenous cultures in Berlin.

Pacific Arts Committee Chair Marilyn Kohlhase said this was the first time the Pacific had been invited to take part in the Berlin festival, which opened in late May. “There’s a groundswell of interest in Pacific arts on the world stage and the Committee was pleased to be able to support these exciting international projects within a limited budget.”

In this funding round, the Pacific Arts Committee received 39 applications for project funding, seeking more than $385,000. In the end, it offered a total of $127,400 to 20 projects.

Ms Kohlhase said the Committee supported projects by both emerging and established Pacific artists, and from a range of Island groups and artforms. It was also pleased to note an increase in applications from the South Island.

International scholars, professionals, artists and students will be gathering in Christchurch from 23 – 26 June for the 7th International Symposium of the Pacific Arts Association. In this round, the Pacific Arts Association was offered $7000 towards Conversations, a series of forums at the conference where indigenous artists will be able to exchange cultural knowledge and promote their artistic practice.

The Pacific Arts Committee also supported the conference in an earlier funding round. Alongside the four-day conference, a number of Christchurch galleries are hosting exhibitions of Mäori and Pacific art. Grants supporting artists to exhibit their work in Christchurch include:

- $5000 to Lonnie Hutchinson of Christchurch and Veronica Vaevae of Auckland towards The Loni and Roni Show, an installation at the Physics Room examining environmental issues affecting the Pacific and its people

- $2000 to the SOFA Gallery, School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury towards an exhibition of work by Auckland artist Ani O’Neill, Christchurch artist Liyen Chong and Melbourne’s Sangeeta Sandrasegar.

Also in Christchurch, the Macmillan Brown Centre of Pacific Studies was offered a $9000 grant towards its 2003 artist-in-residence programme. This year, for the first time, the 12-week residencies are being undertaken by Pacific Islands performing artists – playwright/actor Erolia Ifopo and dancer Siaosi Mulipola.

Under its Heritage Arts funding programme, the Pacific Arts Committee offered a $9000 grant to Dr Okusitino Mahina of Auckland to research and record tufunga lalava, the traditional Tongan material art of line and space intersection. The research will include travelling to Tonga to talk to the few remaining tufunga lalava masters.

Dr Mahina hopes to present a part of the project, along with New Plymouth tufunga lalava artist Filipe Tohi, at the Tongan History Association conference in Tonga in July 2003.

“This artform is close to extinction,” Dr Mahina said. “It’s vital that it is preserved and translated into contemporary art practice, which is what Filipe Tohi has been doing.”

Both men will also be involved in a three-day workshop in September on the art of tufunga lalava, organised by the To’utupu Tonga Trust of Auckland. With the support of a $6000 grant from the Pacific Arts Committee, the Trust aims to involve the Tongan community – in particular, Tongan youth - in the workshop.

The other projects offered grants in this funding round are:

- $7000 to Passion Fruit Season 2003 towards workshopping and presenting solo dance performances by MAU dancers Ioane Papalii, Peresetene Afato and Frances Chan at the Herald Theatre in Auckland in November

- $2200 to emerging artist Noel Faifai (Samoan) of Lower Hutt towards creating work for an exhibition in late October 2003

- $3000 to emerging artist Faapoi Uvea (Tongan) of Upper Hutt towards creating work for a solo exhibition in December 2003

- $5000 to Kalifi Moala (Tongan) of Penrose, Auckland towards writing a non-fiction work on the life of contemporary Tongans

- $5000 to Return to Paradise Inc. Society of Christchurch towards creating a show for the 2003 Christchurch Arts Festival

- $5000 to Natasha Urale-Baker (Samoan) of Lyall Bay, Wellington towards recording an album of original songs

- $10,000 to Flying Jandal Productions of Ponsonby, Auckland towards the production of Two Days In Dream at the Herald Theatre in Auckland in September 2003. Artistic director is Mario Gaoa, a member of Naked Samoans and an experienced actor and writer

- $10,000 to Alison Bartley of Wellington towards a catalogue of the prints of Niue artist John Pule from 1994 – 2003, with an essay by Alison Bartley and introduction by Peter Brunt

- $5000 to emerging artist Lorene Taurerewa (Samoan) of Newtown, Wellington towards completing an installation of figurative work for the Pataka Museum of Arts and Cultures in April 2004

- $5000 to emerging musician Sara-Jane Auva’a (Samoan) of Kohimarama, Auckland towards recording costs of a solo album

- $5000 to Daren Kamali (Fijian) of Sandringham, Auckland towards production costs of a full-length album, entitled D. Kamalize, Immigrant Styles

- $6200 to Vainetini TuiTui (Cook Islands) of Tokoroa towards holding workshops in the South Island on Hawaiian quilting in September 2003.

Applications to the Pacific Arts Committee’s next funding round close on Friday 25 July 2003. Copies of the Funding Guide: Ngä Pütea 2003-2004 are available from Creative New Zealand offices or can be downloaded from the publications page of its website (


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