Vea Mafile’o | Digital Launima

Opening event Thursday June 14, from 5.30pm

St Paul Street Gallery, Auckland

“Mining an archive of personal footage that spans almost fifteen years, Vea Mafile’o renders a digital ngatu launima (decorated barkcloth) that both conflates and acts as an index of time. Ngatu launima is one of a variety of Tongan textiles that commemorate historical events and genealogical histories.[1] Much like ngatu launima, there is a sense of scale and generosity in Mafile’o’s work. The three-screen projection is a cascade of visual imagery and sound drawn from her return trips to the Kingdom of Tonga from as early as 2003.

Unique juxtapositions oscillate between past and present as well as personal and collective histories. Mafile’o draws on a diverse range of imagery; from the 2016 Tupou College Toloa Sesquicentenerary juxtaposed with a koka’anga (female collective of barkcloth-makers) creating a launima in the village of Lapaha. Within these public celebrations are more personal narratives that reflect Mafileo’s experiences. In one part of the work scenes of the Tongan landscape are layered over with a recording of Mafile’o’s late Aunty Ana sending best wishes to family in Aotearoa.” — Ane Tonga

Vea Mafile’o (b. 1981) is an artist of Tongan, Māori and Scottish descent who works primarily in moving image and installation. She completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts and a Graduate Diploma of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland, and has exhibited extensively since 1998. Selected exhibitions include This Time of Useful Consciousness—Political Ecology Now, The Dowse Art Museum, 2017; Imaginary Dateline, Venice, 2015; and Tonga ‘I Onopooni: Tonga Contemporary, Pātaka, 2014. Mafile’o continues to work as a filmmaker and is co-founder of the company Malosi Pictures. She is currently developing her first feature film, which is due to be released later this year.

[1] Ngatu launima (decorated barkcloth) is revered for its size. Launima indicates the length of fifty individual pieces sized between 45-60 centimetres.

This exhibition opens alongside AUT Art + Design postgraduate shows in ST PAUL St Gallery One.

Date/Time
Date(s) - 14/06/2018 - 06/07/2018
All Day