Ema Tavola with her work, “sub urbia” 
Photo by Fofoga Setoga-Tuala
Fofoga Setoga-Tuala with her work, “Joseph Ioretto Po” 
Photo by Ema Tavola
Jacob Sua, Fofoga Setoga-Tuala, Marilyn Kohlhase, Ema Tavola & Giles Peterson
Photo by Katherine Higgins
REPRESENT artists: Genevieve Pini, Ema Tavola, Jane-Anne Akamoeau & Fofoga Setoga-Tuala
REPRESENT series by Genevieve Pini
Jane-Anne Akamoeau | Genevieve Pini | Fofoga Setoga-Tuala | Ema Tavola
18 April – 10 May 2008
Four Pacific photo media artists reflect on the people and spaces that contribute to their understanding of place and belonging in Manukau City, South Auckland. They offer insights into their lives and experiences, documenting events and mapping a photographic global / local geography of time and space and connections.
Fofoga Setoga-Tuala has extensively documented the life of a young New Zealand born Samoan man, from his life in suburban South Auckland to the process of being bestowed a chiefly matai title, in his village in Samoa. The work explores people and relationships, formality, pride, accountability and identity. Jane-Anne Akamoeau explores the relationship her children have with their family, illustrating how collective family experiences and foundational relationships have shaped their understanding of the world around them. The work acknowledges the role of family and extended family. Reflecting on initial plans to produce a series of self-portraits, Genevieve Pini depicts fragments of her space through domesticity and children. Her work explores Otara as an extension of enquiry into Samoa and Samoans, performance and gathering, Samoan marking of the body and the land. Ema Tavola’s photos depict people-less landscapes and daily sights from everyday life in Mangere, Otara and Papatoetoe. As observations, they are literal and personal drawing attention to oft overlooked vistas in the urban South Auckland landscape.
Each artist speaks to elements of contemporary Pacific experience in New Zealand. From collective upbringing and extended family to the transnational lives of New Zealand Samoans, the artists represent pride and cultural continuity and an evolving generational sense of belonging to this space. This exhibition is site-specific at Fresh Gallery Otara. It aims to address common misrepresentations of the richness and pride, and the complexities of cultural relocation and socio-political realities of Pacific people in South Auckland.
More photos from REPRESENT at Fresh Gallery Otara
FAMILY WITHIN series by Jane-Anne Akamoeau
More photos by Ema Tavola from sub urbia 2008 series
Mural at Pasifika Physio by Samiu Napa’a (2005)