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 urbanviti@gmail.com

7 thoughts on “I spy : Tapa

  1. E says:

    I find myself playing the same game! I noticed in a children’s show that was in “Hawaii” there was tapa hanging on a wall. I thought I also saw a tanoa being used as a fruit bowl in a movie I watched recently.

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