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Contemporary Pacific Art Exhibition in Taiwan

MEDIA RELEASE

Date: 1 December 2008


Contemporary Pacific Art Exhibition in Taiwan


Le Folauga: the past coming forward - Contemporary Pacific Art from Aotearoa New Zealand is the first exhibition of contemporary Pacific art from New Zealand to be shown in a major fine arts museum in Asia. Curated by Fuli Pereira (Curator-Pacific at Auckland Museum) and Ron Brownson (Senior Curator Auckland Art Gallery), two of the trustees of the Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust, Le Folauga will open at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan on 13 December 2008 and will run through until 5 April 2009.

Le Folauga: the past coming forward - Contemporary Pacific Art from Aotearoa New Zealand has been reconfigured and expanded from the original exhibition held in Auckland last year and now features the work of sixteen artists. The participating artists are Edith Amituanai, Leanne Clayton, Fatu Feu’u, Steven Gwaliasi, Niki Hastings McFall, Lonnie Hutchinson, Leilani Kake, Shigeyuki Kihara, Andy Leleisi’uao, Janet Lilo, Itiri Ngaro, Ani O’Neill, Johnny Penisula, Filipe Tohi, Michel Tuffery, and Jim Vivieaere. Working in a range of media they demonstrate the breadth of talent there is amongst visual artists of Pacific heritage working in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Contemporary Pacific art was first exhibited in Aotearoa New Zealand around twenty-five years ago and it is fitting that two of the artists involved in those early ground breaking exhibitions are again part of breaking new ground. Johnny Penisula and Fatu Feu’u continue to lead the way for the many talented Pacific artists that have followed their path and it is apt that these two artists are included in what is the first exhibition of contemporary Pacific art from Aotearoa New Zealand to be shown in Asia. The name, Le Folauga, was suggested by Johnny Penisula and encapsulates the idea of bringing the learned histories of the past with us into the future, as well as the notion of ‘a flotilla moving together and forward’.

Le Folauga: the past coming forward was originally conceived to sit in a museum context alongside an exhibition of historical objects and artefacts that told the story of exploration by Pacific people. Titled Vaka Moana: Vogages of the Ancestors that major exhibition was held at Auckland Museum in 2007 and included over one hundred and fifty important objects from the museum’s own collection as well as from international collections.

Le Folauga came to the attention of the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts when representatives saw reference to it in connection with Vaka Moana. An approach to Tautai earlier this year has become a very successful collaboration with the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts to take the exhibition overseas to a major art museum. Ron Brownson and Ani O’Neill will travel to Kaohsiung for the opening of the exhibition as guests of the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts. While there they will take part in public program events for the exhibition which will include Ron delivering a key note address on contemporary Pacific art. Ani O’Neill says the experience of being in Taiwan to talk about the work of herself and fellow artists in Le Folauga will be “an exciting way to end the year. I'm looking forward to seeing our work again, and particularly how it might be recieved by a new audience".

A web based catalogue for the new exhibition will be produced which will be added to the existing site www.lefolauga.co.nz . Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts are also producing a hard copy catalogue and other printed material to record this major exhibition which is an important milestone in the history of contemporary Pacific art and artists.

Ends


For further information about the exhibition or to arrange interviews with the curators or artists please contact:

Christina Jeffery
Tautai Trust Manager
Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust
PO Box 68 339, Newton, Auckland,1145
phone: 09 376 1665.mobile: 021 373 402


Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust supports the development of contemporary Pacific art through actively fostering and maintaining links between contemporary Pacific visual artists. Tautai operates on the understanding that the artists remain independent of Tautai and come together through their Tautai connection to participate in art events. For more details see our website www.tautai.org
Tautai Trust is supported by funding from Creative New Zealand.

The Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts has since it was established in 1994 played an important role in promoting international interchange and conducting fine arts activities in southern Taiwan. www.kmfa.gov.tw/english


ENDS


Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust supports the development of contemporary Pacific art through actively fostering and maintaining links between contemporary Pacific visual artists. Tautai operates on the understanding that the artists remain independent of Tautai and come together through their Tautai connection to participate in art events. For more details see our website www.tautai.org
Tautai Trust is supported by funding from Creative New Zealand.

The Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts has since it was established in 1994 played an important role in promoting international interchange and conducting fine arts activities in southern Taiwan. www.kmfa.gov.tw/english

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