AVANOA O TAMA is Tanu Gago’s second solo exhibition being held at Fresh Gallery Otara from 2-31 March 2012.“Avanoa O Tama is a photographic series that looks at the cultural assignment of gender identity in regard to social and cultural expectation amongst men of Pacific diaspora. Concerned with representation and codes of gender this work explores a spectrum of masculine identity among literal and conceptual cultural spaces. The conceptual spaces refer to the grey areas where gender and sexuality tread an ambiguous line between the typical and the unexpected. These spaces are often occupied by Fa’afafine and gay Pacific males. In this instance this space is shared with other heterosexual Polynesian and Melanesian males. As an artist I am interested to see what is exposed about our public perceptions of gender and sexuality when these codes of gender deviate from cultural and social norms and how this reflects on our own cultural sensibilities and notions of tolerance and understanding.”
Tanu Gago is a South Auckland-based visual artist practising in the field of photography, short film and video installation. He holds a Bachelor of Screen and Performing Arts from Unitec (2009) and held his first solo exhibition, YOU LOVE MY FRESH at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Auckland in 2010.
Tanu’s photographic series, Jerry the Fa’afafine (2011), developed for the exhibition Mana Takatāpui: Taera Tāne at City Gallery Wellington, was subsequently purchased for the Manukau Art Collection (Auckland Council) and is on permanent display at Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku.
In April, Tanu features in a group exhibition of Samoan artists at the University of La Verne (California) and in July, he features in an exhibition of Pacific artists at the Auckland Art Gallery.
- Watch Tanu discuss his practice as a multimedia artist, alongside Leilani Kake on Tagata Pasifika [TVNZ]
- Read a review of Tanu’s first solo show, YOU LOVE MY FRESH, by John Hurrell for EyeContact
- Check out the AVANOA O TAMA blog
- Tanu Gago in conversation with Richard Orjis
Saturday 17 March
Fresh Gallery Otara