TOP 16 opening @ Fresh Gallery Otara

TOP 16 opening, Thursday 20 March @ Fresh Gallery Otara


More photos from the opening of TOP 16 @ Fresh Gallery Otara:



One of the most popular social networking sites used in New Zealand is the inspiration behind an amazing new exhibition at Fresh Gallery Otara.

TOP 16, a solo exhibition by Auckland-based artist Janet Lilo, looks at how thousands of New Zealanders, especially Maori and Pacific youth, profile themselves, keep in touch with friends and share news and photos on the international site Bebo.


Social networking sites are gaining huge attention throughout New Zealand. Over the past five years, Lilo has gathered together videos and photos that document people expressing themselves in all sorts of ways. Whether they are self-portraits or photos of friends and family, Lilo says it’s all about profiling yourself.

Pacific Arts Coordinator Ema Tavola says, “Young people are creating complex profiles on Bebo, uploading photos and messages that link them to a global network of Bebo users.   TOP 16 is an exciting exhibition that emulates the Bebo experience and offers a chance for people to get a glimpse of how powerful it is as a social phenomenon.”


Janet Lilo will be speaking about her practice and the ideas behind TOP 16 in a floor talk on Saturday, 29 March at 11am. Visitors are welcome to join her, Aaron Taouma (Chair, Pacific Island Media Association) and Allen Vili, (aka Onesian) in a panel discussion about Bebo – The Social Phenomenon at 12.30pm. It promises to be a lively, informed and eye-opening debate.

This is the first time Janet Lilo has brought her work to Fresh Gallery Otara having previously shown TOP 16 at Auckland’s St. Paul Street Gallery.

The exhibition is part of the month-long Celebrate Pasifika festival.

Janet Lilo is available for interviews

There will be an exhibition opening on Thursday 20 March with the artist in attendance.

Special events:

Exhibition opening:                                                  6 – 8pm, Thursday 20 March

Artist floor talk with Janet Lilo:                               11am, Saturday 29 March

Panel Discussion: Bebo – the Social Phenomenon: 12.30pm, Saturday 29 March

For a taste of TOP 16, watch the TVNZ Tagata Pasifika interview with Janet Lilo archived on YouTube, click here…

And other work by Janet Lilo can be found on her Bebo site, and her YouTube channel,

Fiji Artists visit for CELEBRATE PASIFIKA

  Daren, Arthur & Tarisi
Visiting Fiji artists Craig Marlow & Lambert Ho, whose work is now on display at O’Kaioceanikart Gallery, Auckland 

Recycled Plastic flowers by Craig Marlow
Recycled plastic bottle flowers made by Craig Marlow at O’Kaioceanikart Gallery, Auckland 

As well as Craig Marlow and Lambert Ho, travelling with the Pacific Arts Alliance this band performed in the Fiji Village at the annual Pasifika Festival in Central Auckland, New Zealand (Saturday 8 March 2008), part of the annual Auckland City Council Celebrate Pasifika festival.

FLAT WHITE BLACK PEARL (1-22 March) Te Karanga Gallery

My work installed in “Flat White Black Pearl” curated by Jim Vivieaere for Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust

In FLAT WHITE BLACK PEARL, Te Karanga Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand      
Opening Night: Samiu Napa’a & Ema Tavola; install; Nia-val Ngaro & Luisa Lefao-Setoga

Samiu Napa’a with his painting; Curator, Jim Vivieaere

At home

Pacific Art takes Another Look at White and Black

Friday, 29 February 2008, 4:48 pm
Press Release: Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust

A new exhibition of Pacific artists is inviting people to take another look at the contrast of white and black, the personal expression of identity and wider issues of race and ethnicity. ‘Flat White, Black Pearl’ is being shown in Auckland as part of the month-long Celebrate Pasifika festival. Atypical of your usual expectation of Pacific culture in the visual arts, it will only feature works that are in black and white. With almost 50 artists participating in the show, there are bound to be a few surprises about how the artists have chosen to express their ‘colour’ and cultural identity when confined to neutral tones.

“Work has been selected because it is black and/or white, or shades of grey,” explains Jim Vivieaere who has curated the exhibition along with Leeane Clayton, herself an emerging artist and first-time curator.

While the curators concentrate on creating the physical and intellectual experience of the exhibition, the artists determine their own views on issues of race and identity as Pacific artists.

In ‘Flat White, Black Pearl’, although there may be a “colour bar” on the artwork – limited to shades of black, white and grey – there are no limits as to how innovative, expressive, white or black, ordinary or gorgeous the artists choose to be.

The exhibition runs from 1 – 22 March at Te Karanga Gallery on Karangahape Road, Auckland. This exhibition is a Tautai initiative, supported by funding from Creative Communities and part of Auckland City Council’s Celebrate Pasifika 2008.

Jim Vivieaere has had a long and illustrious career as an artist, curator and commentator. Particularly remembered for his exhibition ‘Bottled Ocean’ which was the first survey exhibition of Pacific Island contemporary art.

Leeane Clayton is an emerging Pacific Island artist and first-time curator.

Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust was established in the 1980s to mentor and support contemporary Pacific art and artists. As a charitable trust it continues to pursue its goals through promoting and providing profile to Pacific heritage artists and their work. It operates on the understanding that the artists remain independent of Tautai and come together through the Tautai connection to participate in art events.

For more information please visit these websites:  and