Koloa: Fafine, ‘Aati, Mo e Tekinolosia / Women, Art, and Technology

Nov 14, 2020 – Feb 5, 2021
292 Karangahape Road
Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
Aotearoa New Zealand

Para Site is proud to announce the third international iteration of Koloa: Fafine, ‘Aati, Mo e Tekinolosia / Women, Art, and Technology at Artspace Aotearoa; an exhibition that centres on the significance of the female artistic lineage of Tongan koloa, to generate a transformative-context in which female Indigenous practises are a pivotal cultural force.

The exhibition brings to Aotearoa over ninety unique ngatu / barkcloth works from the collection of Tunakaimanu Fielakepa, the Dowager Lady Fielakepa, revered as the foremost authority on customary Tongan art practices in the Kingdom of Tonga. Her wealth of knowledge has and continues to be called upon by museums and institutions as an advisory, and contributor to global Indiginous scholarship.

In 2019, the Dowager Lady Fielakepa exhibited her extensive collection of rare and new Tongan artworks in Koloa: Women, Art, and Textiles, an exhibition at Langafonua ‘a Fafine, Tonga. This site was established in 1953 by Queen Sālote Tupou III, as a historic centre for women’s customary arts. The exhibition was a momentous cotemporal occasion; it paid tribute to the cultural and social significance of koloa art practises while honoring the Dowager Lady Fielakepa for her life-long commitment to, and passion for the endurance and vitality of these diverse practices. (Koloa connotes something of treasured value; interchangeable material and immaterial wealth.)

Koloa was shown for a second time at Para Site in an expanded exhibition that included work by contemporary female practitioners: Tanya Edwards (Tongan, Māori, Tainui), Nikau Hindin (Ngai Tūpoto, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) and Vaimaila Urale (Sāmoa). For this third iteration of Koloa, Artspace Aotearoa focusses on the potentiality that these female practitioners embody, making-vital Indigenous narratives and knowledge while generating progressive perspectives through adaptive contemporary methodologies.

Koloa: Fafine, ‘Aati, Mo e Tekinolosia / Women, Art, and Technology is co-curated by Tunakaimanu Fielakepa, the Dowager Lady Fielakepa, with Cosmin Costinas and Vivian Ziherl.

This exhibition is made possible with the support of the Auckland Regional Council, Creative New Zealand, Foundation North.