Tanu Gago // New Work

Tanu Gago is a south Auckland-based Samoan filmmaker who I’m working with to produce his first solo exhibition, YOU LOVE MY FRESH opening in September at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Manukau City. Tanu was a contributing artist to the smallaxe09 project, a collaborative video work produced by Janet Lilo and I as part of the invitational exhibition profiling new art venues at Auckland’s ARTSPACE gallery in September 2009. Tanu’s short film, The Woods, also featured in the inaugural Manukau Film Festival in 2008.

YOU LOVE MY FRESH is an experimental video installation exploring Samoan identity, intergenerational cultural transmission and gender in south Auckland.


Umu day, an initiative teaching young New Zealand-born Samoans how to prepare an umu / earth oven.

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The Kool Kids Company – Tanu Gago’s production company.

Tanu’s drawing practice is also of note, his current body of work is based around a character inspired by Dan Taulapapa McMullin‘s poetry collection, A Drag Queen Named Pipi.

Jerry the Fa’afafine is an ongoing series of drawings exploring Samoan masculinity.

Tanu opened our second Manukau City edition of Pecha Kucha Night in November 2009 for the Manukau Festival of Arts with a fantastic, inspiring presentation that can be seen here.

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