samoa art

The hongi, better associated with our Maori and Hawaiian cousins, is an embrace where the exchanging of the ‘Ha’ (Breath of Life) occurs. It can also be interpreted as the sharing of both souls. Whether it be between siblings, cousin, or a man and a women the ‘Ha’ is truly a spiritual mana embrace between beings. This represents a girl taking on the honor of becoming a taupou. A hongi, sharing of 'ha’ between present and future self. #UrbanNesian

Siliga Setoga - Oki fa’a kama Samoa moni lou ulu

Ata Te Tangata is a survey show that focuses on current practice by photographers of Maori and Pacific descent from Aotearoa New Zealand. Their images tell a multitude of stories, bringing to light the people and landscapes of a contemporary Polynesian experience unique to Aotearoa New Zealand. Ata Te Tangata features works by a ‘who’s who’ of contemporary Maori and Pacific photographers based here, including Siliga David Setoga, Terry Koloamatangi Klavenes, Tanu Gago, Ane Tonga, Grant Apiata, Linda T, Raymond Sagapolutele, Russ Flatt, Lisa Reihana, Emily Mafile'o, Pati Solomona Tyrell and Natalie Robertson.


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Serene Timoteo is an Auckland-based artist who translates the negative perception of “Plastic Samoan” into beautiful art. Talanoa Intern Iunisi Vaiaku explores identity, culture and what Serene wants to achieve with her modern-Pacific take on art, and the positive impact it can have on today’s generation of young Pacific people. 

See a video on her art here