Pasifika Film & Arts Festival (PFAF )

482890_129738303879813_1098965398_nPasifika Film & Arts Festival
Studio 2204

A film and arts festival showcasing issues of interest related to the Pacific Island region.

The first Pasifika Film & Arts Festival (PFAF) is hosted by Studio 2204, from Friday 21 June to Sunday 30 June 2013 as part of Open Marrickville 2013 in Sydney.

PFAF brings stories from the Pacific to Marrickville’s doorstep. Featuring films, shorts, docos and animation from Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, the festival will encourage members of our local Pacific community, especially our youth, to connect with their cultural heritage through visual arts and storytelling, while also sharing our wonderful Pasifika culture with the wider community.

6.00pm – 10.00pm

The PFAF program kicks off with an opening night extravaganza of Pasifika films, art, performance and more.

The Sound of Crickets at Night
Director: Jack Niedenthal & Suzanne Murphy
Length: 80 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis: An elderly nuclear survivor from Bikini Atoll summons a mysterious ancient deity to help reunite his family.

5:30pm – 8.30pm

SHORT FILMS FAMILY NIGHT: Animations, short films, comedy and short documenatries

Tales of Nanumea (Animation series)
Director: George Samuels

Tales from Nanumea is an animated series by George Samuels to help save the myths and legends of a sinking nation, Tuvalu. Its aim is to preserve the culture of Tuvalu, raise awareness of global warming, and re-engage youth and Elders through cultural animation.

Pai & Vau
Length: 3.34 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis: A Tuvaluan legend about Nanumea’s founder, Tefolaha, and the two island women, Pai & Vau, who once inhabited the island.

Te Lima
Length: 2 min
Genre:  Action
Synopsis: During World War II, somethinginexplicable happens to a small group of Germans after encountering a warrioron the island of Nanumea.

Defeat of Tulaapoupou
Length: 2 min
Genre:  Action
Synopsis: A Tongan giant falls at the hands of Nanumea’s protector, Lapi, leaving an imprint in the land for futuregenerations to remember.

Samuels, George, dir. Pai & Vau. 2008. Animated Film.

Pai & Vau is one of three short animations by George Samuels that will be screening at the Pasifika Film & Arts Festival. Traditions say that the first people to be found on the island of Nanumea, Tuvalu, were two women, Pai and Vau. Tefolaha (a man whose true origins are debated to be either Samoan or Tongan) tricked the two women, with the use of his spiritual prowess, into thinking that he was the true founder of the land. As a result, Pai and Vau were forced to leave the island, leaving Tefolaha as the new founder, guardian and protector.

Director: Tresa Ponner
Length: 12 min
Genre:  Comedy
Synopsis: Sosefina escapes her big, loud, annoying Samoan family and their rundown house to pretend to live in a displayhouse.

Director: Leilani Gibson
Length: 5.27 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: This filmspeaks of the spiritual world and discusses the traditional story of a beautiful Tongan woman, Fehuluni, as told through the eyes of artist and curator Loketi Niua Latu.

This is My Culture
Director: Ranu James
Length: 4.55 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Culture issomething intrinsically linked to who we are, it cannot be separated fromsomeone and to treat everyone the same is to deny our uniqueness.

A Pork Bun for Charlotte
Director: Jason Taouma
Length: 7.21 min
Genre:  Comedy
Synopsis: A heart-warmingtale of love, struggle and a pork bun.



Chanel, Marie, dir. Too Familia. n.d. Short Film.

Too Familia
Director: Marie Chanel
Length: 5 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis: Too Familia is a short film by Marie Chanel which is a comedic take on two strangers mourning, trying to hold their composer while hung-over at the wake of a loved one. Unbeknowst to them, their chance encounter at the wake triggers memories of meeting the night before in a drunken mess – leading to the realisation that they’re just too familia.

Pacific Women’s Weaving Circle
Director: Lisa Hilli
Length: 5.39 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Love, laughter, excitement and a passion fortradition and contemporary Pacific weaving. It’s a document of what happenswhen Pacific Islander women get together to weave.

The Tongans: Meet the Parents
Director: Kalo Fainu
Length: 22 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis: Getting to her high school formal provesdifficult for Siva when her Tongan family get in the way of her big night.

5:30pm – 8.30pm

WEST PAPUA/PNG FILM NIGHT Drama and documentry films from West Papua and Papua New Guinea


Brown, Dominic, dir. Forgotten Bird of Paradise. 2009. Documentary.

Forgotten Bird of Paradise
Director: Dominic Brown
Length:  27 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Forgotten Bird of Paradise is a documentary film about the struggle for independence being fought in West Papua.

Painim Aut
Director: Platon Theodoris
Length:  34.26 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis: Esther, a teenage girl from Chimbu provincein PNG, fears she has contracted HIV from her boyfriend Jimi.

Bigpela Bagarap (Big Damage)
Director: Davide Fedele
Length:  43 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Bikpela Bagarap (Big Damage) reveals thehuman face of logging in Papua New Guinea.

5.30pm – 8.30pm


Upi Mop Le (The Last Fish)
Director: John Harvey
Length:  43 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: This film explores how Torres StraitIslander artist Ricardo Idagi maintains a sense of connection with ‘home’through his artwork.

The Hungry Tide
Director: Tom Zubrycki
Length:  90 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: A personal story about a Pacific nation onthe frontline of climate change.

5.30pm – 8.30pm

WEST PAPUA/PNG FILM NIGHT Drama and documentry films from West Papua and Papua New Guinea

Ironic Survival
Director: Urbanus Kiaf, Wenda Tokomonowir, LeoMoyuwend
Length:  5.46 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: After living in harmony with nature forgenerations, Alex Mahuze is forced to earn money through means that ironicallyharm the environment.

Hopes of the Cendrawasih Children
Director: FX Making
Length:  7 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Primary school children in Arso on the Indonesian-Papua New Guinea border are keen to study – but teachers rarely cometo the local school.

The Last Hunter
Director: Urbanus Kiaf
Length:  8.23 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: In 1990 the Wasur National Park in Meraukewas made to protect the biodiversity and empower the local inhabitants.  In 2012 there are very few animals left inthe park.  Hunter Leo Wambitman is on theverge of giving up his bow to sell timber instead.



Pollet, Olivier, dir. Canning Paradise. 2012. Documentary.

Canning Paradise
Director: Olivier Pollet
Length:  90 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Decades of overfishing by the global tunaindustry have now pushed the final frontiers to the waters of PNG.  Canning Paradise follows the struggle of indigenous tribes to protect their sacred way of life.

5.30pm – 8.30pm


The Embrace of Night (Go to Sleep)
Director: Robert George
Length:  5.34 min
Genre: Experimental
Synopsis:  ‘The space that is occupied between myths & dreams’
A five minute experimental video installation that attempts to describe our interiorlandscape. A place where people naturally blend their busy waking lives withtheir emotions and ideas to create a narrative that is completely unique tothem, and yet universal to us all.

Reva Reva
Director: Paia Juste-Constant
Length:  7.55 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Reva Reva is a story about filmmaker Paia Juste-Constant’s connection to her grandmothers and their full body tattoos.This beautiful canvas is far greater than a staining of the skin, more than apattern of ink.

Director: Story Weavers
Length:  15 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis:  Pearl is a short film written, directed and filmed by acollective of young people from Pacific backgrounds – incorporating everyone’sidea of how it is to be a young Pacific person living in Australia NOW! It’sthe story of Dinah, a young woman struggling with her grandmother’s death andthe demands that her family place on her.

My Moko
Director: Andrew Scarano
Length:  6.30 min
Genre:  Documentary
Synopsis: Brent Kerehona takes us behind hisMoko to reveal issues of identity crisis and culturally conflict he has had todeal with growing up in Australia.


McCartney, Marina, dir. Milk & Honey. 2012. Short Film.

Milk and Honey
Director: Marina McCartney
Length:  15 min
Genre:  Drama
Synopsis:  A chance meeting between two Samoan immigrants forces them to contemplate their future in the land of milk and honey.

Common Kings: We on Tour
Director: Hagoth Aiono
Genre:  Documentary
Australian Premiere Common King’s We On Tour short documentary

Pasifika Film and Arts Festival

Studio 2204

20 Farr Street, Marrickville,
NSW, Australia

Friday 21 – Sunday 23 June 2013
Friday 28 – Sunday 30 June 2013
5.30pm – 8.30pm

Opening Night: Friday 21 June 2013
6pm – 10pm

Tickets for the OPENING NIGHT event are FREE – however please book online for catering purposes.

For all other screening sessions: Adult tickets are $5 per session and children under 12 are free.

For screenings please take along your own cushion or pillow (limited seating available).

Bookings essential via:


Twitter: @PFAF2013

PrintStudio 2204 was started by photographer/filmmakers Kalo Fainu and Tanja Bruckner and is a creative space in Marrickville, a suburb of Sydney’s Inner West. The space is available for film, photography, workshops, exhibitions, events etc. Website: Facebook:

For more information contact:
Kalo Fainu 0424 445 839 or Tanja Bruckner 0424 456 004

All Images: via PFAF Facebook page


Maketi Ples 2013


The third Maketi Ples was held from 20 February – 10 March 2013 at Global Gallery in Paddington, Sydney.

Maketi Ples – from the Samoan word for ‘market’ and the Tokpisin word for ‘place’ – is an exhibition and marketplace featuring the fine works of Pacific Island artists and artisans.

An initiative of Pacific Islands Trade & Invest, Maketi Ples has emerged as the most significant event in Australia showcasing and selling Pacific arts and crafts outside the islands region.

Giles Peterson, a curator on the selection panel for Maketi Ples, says the exhibition is attracting interest from across the globe.

“There is a lot of international interest in this exhibition as well, not just in Australia and New Zealand and the South Pacific, but further, into the United States and in Europe. Maketi Ples has now become a significant event on the cultural calendar internationally, raising a lot of international interest by curators working around the world in the area of contemporary Pacific arts.” ~ Giles Peterson

This year’s Maketi Ples featured 37 artists and artisan from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and The Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Events such as Maketi Ples are a crucial step in the support of the creative arts in the Pacific region. By investing in the promotion of the Pacific arts, the Pacific Islands Trade & Invest is promoting the placement of a contemporary value on the traditional knowledge and expressions of culture of the Pacific communities. Since its inaugural show in 2011 Maketi Ples has introduced Pacific artists to the Australian art scene.

During Maketi Ples 2011, bilum-wear by Florence Jaukae Kamel was recognised as an important statement of gender empowerment by the Australian Museum and was acquired by the museum for its Pacific Collection. Later that year, the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Brisbane acquired one of Jaukae Kamel’s bilum-wear. This dress was exhibited at the Threads: Contemporary Textiles & the Social Fabric at GOMA (1 October 2011 – 5 February 2012), another milestone acquisition for Jaukae Kamel by an Australian institution.

Florence Jaukae Kamel, Managing Director of Jaukae Bilum Products, is a well-respected Papua New Guinea bilum artist and founder of the Bilum FestivalJaukae Kamel has been at the forefront of the rapidly growing reinterpretation of the twist and loop technique into a contemporary art form – billum-wear.


Tongan Kato Kafa (basket) weaver and coconut fibre artist Sioni Maileseni’s Kato Kafa (2011) and Kato Alu (2012) were also acquired by the Australian Museum.



1. Tïvaevae from the Cook Islands by Mi’i Quarter 2. woven baskets from Marshall Islands 3. purses from the Ömie Artists Inc 4. Malo Marita and Plantation House

5. Setu-Masina- Alae, girclee print by Samoan artist Vanya Taule’alo 6. Florence Jaukae Kamel in front of bilim bags from Papua New Guinea 7. Sepik face, acrylic on paper by PNG artist Anna Kawage 8. wood and stone carvings by Ralph Ako, Solomon Islands

9. Purses from Plantation House 10. Tongan coconut fibre, rib & leaf fan by Sioni Maileseni 11. hand painted textiles by Franny Do’oro, Solomon Islands 12. Trobriand dancers, acrylic on canvas by PNG artist Martin Morububuna

13. Tongan artist Tevita Latu 14. Buldoza klirim bus lon LNG projek, acrylic on canvas by PNG artist Andrew Kauage 15. woven baskets from Marshall Islands 16. some of the artists on a trip to the Australian Museum

Family Day (23 February) : A family day was also organised at the gallery, where the artists and artisans spoke  about their art practice, the state of the art scene in their countries of origin and hopes and aspirations about their participation in Maketi Ples.

Among the artists that spoke were Lalovai Peseta, Vanya Taule’alo Gallery, Chris Kawage, Ralph Ako, Frances Do’oro, Mi’i Quarter, Tevita Pola’apau, Sione Maileseni, Stanley Pesaro and Florence Kamel.

Artists Florence Jaukae Kamel demonstrated Bilum making, while Sione Maileseni showed the visitors coconut fibre weaving.

Tattoo demonstrations/sessions by Samoan artist Lalovai Peseta were also held and due to popular demand, a third and last session was organised. Peseta tattooed Florence Jaukae Kamel on her right arm her signature design – Skin Pik, a weave pattern she uses in her bilum-wear colleciton. You can view the tattoo here.

Over the next three years, PT&I plan to extend the exposure of Pacific arts and crafts geographically with the possibility of hosting multiple events in a year at various locations in Australia and in other countries as well.

“So far it has been an extremely satisfying and rewarding experience for Pacific arts, artists and artisans. We would like to see more artists from the entire region benefit from it.” Caleb Jarvis, PT&I Australia Trade Commissioner

2013 Maketi Ples Artists and Artisans:

Cook Islands: Kay George; Mi’i Quarter

Fiji: Alifereti Malai; Abraham Lagi

Papua New Guinea: Jimmy Amamao (Annie’s Pottery); Malolo Prints; Florence J Kamel; Martin Morububuna; Laben Sakale John; Johannes Gulag; Chris Kauage; Kauage Family: Elisabeth, Andrew, Michael, Anna; Ömie Artists Inc; Agnes Posanai (Tarebo Arts); Stanley Pesero and James Kuri (Enga Cultural Centre)

Samoa: Plantation House; The Vanya Taule’alo Gallery – Vanya Taule’alo, Lalovai Peseta, Kili Luaipolu, Beau Rasmussen, Isabelle Staron-Tutugoro, Chuck Feesago, Fatu Feu’u, Jeff Lockhart, Wong Chiu Tuipoloa, Lily Loita

Solomon Islands: Franny Do’oro; Ralph Ako

Tonga: Sione Maileseni; Tevita Latu; Sione Tu’avao; Ti Pola’apau

The Republic of the Marshall Islands: Elefa Handicraft Shop

Maketi Ples 2013

20 February – 10 March 2013
Global Gallery, 5 Comber St, Paddington, NSW, Australia


Maketi Ples 

Pacific Islands Trade & Invest


Maketi Ples Note: this is not a Facebook Page but a Profile page.

Pacific Islands Trade & Invest

Twitter: @MaketiPles

Photos available online of Maketi Ples:

PT&I website

PT&I Facebook Maketi Ples Photo Album

Vanya Taule’alo Gallery’s Facebook page have a few Photo Albums from Maketi Ples

Sources: Maketi Ples; Pacific Islands Trade & InvestSamoan Observer; Ruth Choulai, Creative Arts Program Manager, PT&I. Images via PT&I and Maketi Ples websites and Facebook pages/profiles.

i spy {tapa}

I get excited when I see tapa in a non-Pacific setting. Does anyone play spot the tapa on TV? A few programs I’ve seen have tapa in the background and by a few I mean one but for the life of me I can’t remember which Australian show it was.


via Design FilesPhoto – Brooke Holm, Production – Lucy Feagins

Featured on Design Files, Kirsty Davey  has Fijian tapa hanging in her guest bedroom. She bought the tapa from Lost Ark, an antique store in Melbourne.


via euroform : kitchens + furniture

And how stirking is this Tongan tapa that is used as side panel for this kitchen island. The timber work top was sourced from the Pacific Islands too.

More i spy {tapa} here.

Since I’ve been gone…


Twenty-twelve just wasn’t my blogging year…actually much of 2012 was just a write-off.

  • It was my dad’s 30th anniversary since his death
  • My mum was in hospital for a month where she spent 3 weeks in intensive care
  • I was torn between two lovers *cue music*…feeling like a fool…(sing along with me now)…
  • Was bored of my job/life – quit my job after thinking about it for 3 days with the intent of moving to Melbourne but ended up staying in Brisbane and moving to another department in the same organisation I worked for

On the upside I was in Fiji three times last year.

Lots has happened out there in Oceania or should I say Oceania in diaspora – I hardly come across information about the arts happening in the Islands. Maybe I stalk  I’m friends with the wrong people.

Here are just a few events that has happened since I’ve been gone…

The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT7) opened in December at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) here in Brisbane. I didn’t get a chance to go to the opening as I was busy that weekend.  It ends 14 April so I have a bit of time to see it.

Pacific artists featured: Sopolemalama Filipe TOHI (Tonga/New Zealand) | {disarmed} imagining a Pacific archive: Torika BOLATAGICI (Australia/Fiji), Mathew HUNKIN (New Zealand/Samoa), Teresia TEAIWA (United States of America/Kiribati/New Zealand) | Graham FLETCHER (New Zealand/Samoa) | Asmat artists: Ben AFEX; Amatus AHMAK; Antonin ARKE; Primus ISIMIN; Stefanus JAKFU; Norbertus JOKOMEN; Paulis KOMARE; Paulis POKMAN; Yakobus SERAMBI; Dinisius SIRETS (West Papua, Indonesia) | Greg SEMU (New Zealand/Samoa) and from Papua New Guinea two co-curated projects explore specific focuses. Works from Papua New Guinea include a group of performance masks and painted and carved structures from New Britain and the Sepik.

the other APT 2012 – an online exhibition of alterNATIVE perspectives curated by Jenny Fraser. Coinciding with and responding to the state government-run 7th Asia Pacific Triennial in Queensland, the other APT  features a range of artworks from Australian-based artists of various cultural backgrounds and art forms. Check it out here the Facebook Event page here.

Masi, which premiered in Wellington at the New Zealand International Arts Festival last March was shown in Fiji (December 2012) and at the Sydney Festival 2013 (January 2013). Directed by Nina Nawalowalo, Masi tells a touching love story between her parents – a Fijian high chief from the island of Kadavu and the daughter of Cambridge-educated schoolmasters in the 1950s.

“Nawalowalo blends physical theatre, magic, live music and a muscular ensemble of traditional Fijian dancers to tell the story of her parents’ romance, which began over a game of chess”. ~ Lloyd Bradford Syke

Concealed Ancestors  (12 January – 23 February 2013) was a solo exhibition by Waikato-based Fijian-Maori visual artist, Margaret Aull, co-curated by Nigel Borell and Ema Tavola for Papakura Art Gallery, South Auckland. Produced as part of Margaret’s post-graduate studies, the work is an in-depth visual enquiry into the concept of taputabu or sacredness informed in part by a recent trip to Fiji and time spent at the Fiji Museum.

8243140703_4cdc16c1cf_z Whakapapa transfer station | Margaret Aull | Acrylic, graphite, ink, 24-carat gold leaf on paper

In May last year Fiji’s international carrier, Air Pacific announced its rebranding, which included a name change to Fiji Airways, and a distinctive new logo that highlights the companies Fijian roots. Air Pacific commissioned Fijian masi artist, Makereta Matemosi to design the new logo.

Fiji Airways 15 motifs to be trade marked

Fast forward to January 2013 when Air Pacific publishes its intentions to trade mark 15 individual masi motifs used in its new logo.

There was a public outcry over this on Facebook (the new platform for public outcry). A Facebook page was created by a concerned group of people NA NODA MASI – Do not TM our cultural heritage, as well as an online petition.

The online petition is still open, please sign and share.

More info: NA NODA MASI – Do not TM our cultural heritage Facebook page; Cultural identity by Tevita Vuibau. Fiji Times; Appropriation (?) of the Month: Fiji Masi for Air Pacific or for Everyone? by Kristen Dobbin.


I hope to feature more of Urban Viti blog series: interviews {Talaona}, DIY’s {Tovolea mada}, style features {vale ni style}, cultural appropriation and (my) geometric obsessions {kerei}, as well as regular updates on exhibitions and such.

Hopefully I’ll be blogging more this year and making art…one can only dream *sigh*.

Don’t forget to check out Urban Viti on Facebook:

Post-script: It took me three hours to write this post! Which made me realise the main reason why I haven’t been blogging – the lack of a personal computer! My laptop died on me some time in 2011…two years on and I haven’t been able to afford a replacement.

I’ve been spending my money on travelling – 2011 I travelled three times interstate and three times as well to Auckland and once to Fiji. In 2012 I went twice to Auckland and three times to Fiji!

This year I plan only to do two international flights – Fiji at the end of the year and to Europe to see my love <<< Yes, I’m no longer torn between two lovers.

So I think it’s about time I spoilt myself and bought a new laptop.

Image sources: Concealed Ancestors via PIMPI ; Fiji Airways logo via NA NODA MASI – Do not TM our cultural heritage

pan-o-vision // Samuel Tupou

pan-o-vision v.3 | Samuel Tupou
silkscreen on high densitiy PVC 40cm round | 2012

Samuel Tupou is an undercover brotha. I consider my s̶t̶a̶l̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ research skills to be top notch when it comes to Pacific artists, exhibitions etc., so I was rather surprised to come across this article in the Brisbane News magazine about his exhibition in my own city!

I hadn’t heard about the exhibition via my normal sources (emails, Facebook, Twitter, blogs), so I’m rather happy that I did get to read the Brisbane News that someone left in my lunch room at work.

I had a twitter discussion with Ema Tavola back in February about Samuel Tupou and she did say that, while he was well known in Australia and the international art scene – he was rather low key within the Pacific art community.

I first came across Tupou’s work by chance. In 2007 I was on a bus that went pass the Jan Manton Art Gallery in South Brisbane. From the bus I could see glimpses of artwork in the gallery and I thought to myself…that looks like Pacific art. I made an effort later that week to go back and check it out and I’m glad I did.

Samuel Tupou is a Cairns based artist with a specialty in screenprinting. Born in New Zealand and of Tongan heritage, Tupou’s family moved to the Northern Territory when he was five.

The works in the pan-o-vision exhibition were made whilst Tuopu was on a 12 month residency in Wellington (New Zealand), which he felt was a time to get fresh prespective after living and working in Cairns for 12 years.

He says, “Although I often returned to visit family in New Zealand, the country remains for me a place of both identity and intrigue”. This would be the same for the many Pacific Islanders who live in Australia that are twice removed from their traditional fonua/whenua /vanua/fenua (land which one identifies with) – having come to Australia via New Zealand. So for many, New Zealand links them to their Pacific heritage.

Tupou’s urban environment and Pacific heritage influences his work with the use of geometric lines and repetitive patterns with animal and plant motifs which pay homage to Tongan tapa, mixed in with street art and pop cultural symbolism.

“Tupou’s practice reflects contemporary dilemmas of cultural identity, Westernization and immigration. Through the re-invention and repetition of found imagery from Western popular culture, and the use of industrial materials, Tupou creates new narratives which portray both personal and shared histories.” ~ Jan Manton Art 

Fire child | Samuel Tupou | silkscreen on high densitiy PVC 80 x 120 cm | 2012

twin moon rising  | Samuel Tupou | silkscreen on high densitiy PVC 55 x 120 cm | 2011

Fire Horse | Samuel Tupou | silkscreen on high densitiy PVC 80 x 120 cm | 2012

pan-o-vision v.l – pan-o-vision v.12 | Samuel Tupou | silkscreen on high densitiy PVC 40cm round | 2012

Excuse my dodgy iPhone photos. You can check out more of Tupou’s works from this exhibition over at Jan Manton Art gallery website here, along with other works of his from 2007 and 2008 exhibitions at Jan Manton Art.

My favourite from this exhibition would have to pan-o-vision v.1 – v.12. I’m loving the hyper pop colour spectrum with its wallpaper background that reminds me of colourful Pacific lavalavas (sarongs). The 1950s pop art nostalgia reflects the Wests romanticised vision of the Pacific back in the 1950s and 60s – think Elvis Presley and Blue Hawaii.

The use of urban motifs – shopping cart, airplanes etc. and of traditional and contemporary Pacific motifs  - horses (he is Tongan…), cows, fire etc., Tupou creates a new narrative which portrays the life of a Pacific Islander in diaspora.

pan-o-vision | Samuel Tupou

Jan Manton Art

1/93 Fortescue Street, Spring Hill, Brsibane, Australia

28 March – 21 April 2012.

Gallery hours are Wednesday to Friday by appointment and 10-4pm Saturday (no appointment necessary).  To make an appointment please call the gallery on 07 3837 3060 or mobile 0419 657 768.


Samuel Tupou’s website

pan-o-vision exhibition on Jan Manton Art website

Screen prince by Phil Brown. Brisbane News, April 2012.

Maketi Ples 2012

Maketi Ples – from the Samoan word for ‘market’ and the Tokpisin word for ‘place’ – is an exhibition and marketplace featuring the fine works of Pacific Islands artists and artisans.

Hosted by Pacific Islands Trade & Invest, Maketi Ples opens 22 February at the Global Gallery in Paddington, Sydney (Australia).

The opening exhibition will feature contemporary Pacific islands fine art and artisan works in a variety of mediums from the Cook Islands,  Federated State of Micronesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands,  and Tonga.

Some of the artists featured:

Agnes Posanai-Tarebo from Papua New Guinea
with tapa Cloth and tapa products

Visual artist Kay George from the Cook Islands

Bilum weaver extraordinaire, Florence Jaukae Kamel from Papua New Guinea

Head over to the Maketi Ples website ( and check out the other artists/artisans. They also have a Facebook Event Page here.

Maketi Ples 2012

 23 February-11 March 2012
Global Gallery, 5 Comber St, Paddington, NSW, Australia

Open from 10am – 6pm.

Special Events :

Wednesday, 22 February 2012.  6 – 8 pm
Preview Event & Opening of Maketi Ples 2012

Thursday, 23 February 2012. 6 – 8 pm
Private Function – Women Chiefs of Enterprise International and launch of Statement Journeys

Saturday, 25 February 2012. 1pm– 4 pm          
Artists Talks :
Kay George – Visual Artist, Cook Islands
John Maileseni – Weaver, Kingdom of Tonga
Tessa Miller – Visual Artist, Fiji Islands
Martin Morububuna – Visual Artist, Papua New Guinea (tbc)
Peter Leo Ella – Visual Artist, Papua New Guinea (tbc)
Festival of Pacific Arts – Solomon Islands artists (tbc)

Maketi Ples 2011

Source and images via Maketi Ples

I spy : Tapa

My ninja eyes spotted this framed Fijian tapa in the March/April 2011 issue of Inside Out magazine.

March/April 2011 issue of Inside Out magazine. Image via Table Tonic

I love how the framed tapa complements the 60′s sideboard.

However, Inside Out’s choice of words leaves a bad taste in my mouth -  “…while framed tapa clothes add a tribal element…”.

Can we please lose the tribal label already.

Here’s another framed Fijian tapa, which goes well with the stricking tyn (juju hat) from Camaroon. Although I’d lose the wire basket.

Image via Table Tonic

I especially love this Tongan framed tapa. I love how it looks creased and incomplete…cut and torn…it tells a story.

Tongan tapa in white frame. Image via Design Sponge

It’s not hard to miss this huge tapa at the appropriately named Tapa Room at The Providores resturant in London. Note: if you’re in London, don’t rush out now to the Tapa Room…they sadly don’t have a Pacific menu.

Image via Chow and The City

They mistakenly call it a “Rarotongan Tapa”. It looks like Tongan tapa to me. Tapa making in the Cook Islands stopped in the early 1900s, however the last few years have seen a small scale revival.

How do you display your tapa?

This Papua New Guinean blogger from Sea, Sand and Shells framed these beautiful PNG tapas. She currently lives in Kazakhstan, so hanging them on her wall reminds her of home.

The tapa is from her husbands clan. In PNG, each clan/family have their own designs and motifs.

Image via Sea, Sand and Shells

A family friend gave me this Fijian tapa that’s framed on canvas frames. It currently leans against a wall my the sitting room.

I’ve been meaning to hang it above my bed but three years later I still haven’t hang it…and I’m moving soon. So hopefully I’ll get to hang it up in my new place.

Photo by Dulcie Stewart

Self-portraits in front of my framed tapa.

Speaking of displaying tapa, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMa) here in Brisbane recently blogged about the installation of the beautiful Tongan tapa, Ngatu tā’uli, which is part of the Threads: Contemporary Textiles and the Social Fabric exhibition. 

The Kulupu Falehanga ‘i Teleiloa – a  New Zealand Tonga art based group, made the 22 metre long Tongan ngatu tā’uli which was commisioned by GoMa. I posted photos by Sangeeta Singh, from the handing over ceremony in Auckland here.

Read GoMa’s blog post about the conservation treatment of the ngatu tā’uli here and installation here.

Kulupu Falehanga ‘i Teleiloa | New Zealand/Tonga; est. 2010 | Ngatu tā’uli 2011 | Barkcloth: hiapo (paper mulberry) with koka pigment and black synthetic polymer paint | Commissioned 2011. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery. Photo by Dulcie Stewart.

The Threads: Contemporary Textiles and the Social Fabric exhibition ends 5 February, 2012 and also includes works by artists from Papua New Guinea, Fiji and the Cook Islands.

I took photos last November at the exhibition and will post them here soon.

I’d love to hear how you display/keep your tapa. Please comment here or send me an email (with photos) to