Join us for the launch of Adriana Māhanga Lear’s new exhibition.
Light refreshments and food with be provided. The launch will include a Welcome to Country by Glenda Chalker and Tongan talafakatapu or salutation of people and place by Kolokesa Uafā Māhina-Tuai (MNZM), along with a live performance by the artist!
About the exhibition:Fafangu: to awaken
is a new body of work by queer Tongan-Australian contemporary interdisciplinary artist Adriana Māhanga Lear [she/they]. Fafangu: to awaken
re-vitalises and re-imagines Tongan concepts and practices of ongo (sound), relating to mate (death), putu (funeral rites), and fonua (people and place).
In this multimedia exhibition that features
photography, video, sculpture, installation, sound and music, Lear interrogates the colonial archive to examine the legacies of Eurocentrism and heteropatriarchy on Tongan art forms.
Fakatakatōfā, the practice of waking chiefs and royalty from sleep with the fangufangu (bamboo nose-flute), is an artform that is particularly imperative to the underlying philosophy of Fafangu: to awaken
The artist engages this practice as a heliaki (metaphor) for the awakening of ancient knowledges and practices, by walking backwards into the future.
-Fafangu: to awaken
highlights the artist’s embodied, decolonial approach to issues of gender, sexuality and identity across Moana Oceania, and their ongoing visual and sonic experimentations with kupesi as a Tongan concept and practice of motif, pattern, design, symbolism, and identity. The exhibition is the outcome of a PhD research project involving community consultation and tālanoa (conversations) with specialists in Tongan music, arts and culture, along with music analysis of sound archives, and research of collections at the Tonga National Museum, Australian Museum, Te Papa
of New Zealand, and Übersee Museum
in Germany.Fafangu: to awaken – summary of works:
- Fale 'o Hikule'o – House of Echoes
- Woven pandanus sculpture with soundscape
- Fākafoa – The Body Breaks in Waves
- 9-channel HD video with sound (recorded music performance) + printed music score
- 'Otua hala he sikotā – Messages from the dead
- Series of graphic music scores on tapa with sound (recorded music performances)
- Fafangu ae fangufangu – Awakening the fangufangu
- Photographic installation with soundscape
- Tu'uloa – In standing, to endure
- Live music performance endurance