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Tanu Gago selected for Auckland Festival of Photography

10 April 2014

Tanu Gago selected for Auckland Festival of Photography Fine Arts Commission

South Auckland based photographer Tanu Gago has been commissioned as the artist for the 2014 Auckland Festival of Photography Annual Fine Arts Commission by Sacred Hill.

2014 is the fourth year of the Auckland Festival of Photography Annual Fine Arts Commission, in which an Auckland-based photographer is commissioned to produce a new body of work especially for the Festival in June. It is the first year that Sacred Hill Vineyards will present the Annual Fine Arts Commission for the Auckland Festival of Photography.

Tanu Gago is a photographer who also works in film. His culture is one of the driving forces behind his artistic expression. He sees photography as the ‘one shot’ opportunity to tell a story and to use a single frame to convey an entire universe of ideas to the viewer.

Born in Samoa and raised in South Auckland, Tanu is part of a large family with a diverse cultural background from around the Pacific. He draws on his unique perspective to create imagesconcerned with issues of representation around contemporary Pacific experiences. They examine facets of his own cultural heritage and look at aspects of identity, gender, sexuality and popular culture amongst Pacific communities.

Tanu Gago says he is grateful to be offered this opportunity to expand on his current fine arts portfolio.

“It’s exciting. As well as the chance to drive my practice into new more refined territory, I’m interested in exploring what future generations will see when they look back,” he says. “What will ‘we’ as a culture leave behind to help inform their understanding of who they are and where they came from.”

The Annual Fine Arts Commission sits at the heart of the Auckland Festival of Photography programme and is New Zealand’s only annual commission of a photographic artwork by a fine arts photographer. The Commission provides an opportunity to showcase an Auckland photographic talent and creates an important cultural and artistic asset for present and future Auckland audiences to enjoy.

Sacred Hill Managing Director David Mason says the company is proud to sponsor the Commission and promote one of New Zealand’s real emerging photographic talents.

“Congratulations to Tanu Gago on his commission. He is a wonderfully gifted contemporary photographer with a fast growing reputation for producing images that are about real people and real connections.”

“We look forward to presenting his new body of work at the Auckland Festival of Photography in June.”

The new work by Tanu Gago will be on show during the Festival from 3 – 17 June at Silo 6 gallery on Auckland’s waterfront.

Full details of the 2014 Auckland Festival of Photography programme are now available at

About Sacred Hill
Sacred Hill founders, David and Mark Mason, with friend and winemaker Tony Bish, began with a simple philosophy of making more wine than they could drink, and sharing the rest. The winemaking generosity continues – today Sacred Hill is a highly respected New Zealand winery with a range of quality, multi-awarded wines from vineyards in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough. With the Mason family still at the helm, Sacred Hill has three tiers of wines, the super premium Special Selection, premium HALO and popular Orange Label. For further information please visit


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