BUY SPEND SAVE NOW is a collaborative installation by three contemporary Pacific artists who come from backgrounds in performance art, sculpture and installation, writing and education. Supported by the Pacific Business Trust, Manukau City Council, Kim Crawford Wines and the Otara Four Square, BUY SPEND SAVE NOW will show at Fresh Gallery Otara, opening in the final week of the 2007 Auckland regional Celebrate Pasifika festival.

Recycling damaged shopping trollies from the local supermarket, the exhibition references themes of capitalism and mobility, resourcefulness and recycling. As part of five sculptural installations in the gallery, the artists express their point of view on globalisation, wealth and poverty from a uniquely New Zealand Pacific perspective.

NationHOOD (2007) Trolley, synthetic flags (Samoa & Tonga), cotton bandanas, photocopied paper, fue (Samoan ceremonial fly whisk), tanoa (Samoan kava bowl)

The artwork addresses current issues faced by many Pacific communities, including: nationhood and neo-nationhood; gang and youth culture; religion and social impacts; pollution of land and body; perceptions of beauty and femininity and the lures and traps of gambling.

MensTrolley Speaking (2007) Trolley, synthetic flower garlands 

In an interview with Richard Pamatatau (Pacific Issues Correspondent) for the Radio New Zealand programme, Arts on Sunday (aired Sunday 25 March), this work was described as “a gaping mouth that transforms a lahar of pink and synthetic leis into a sexualised froth of fancy.”

“BUY SPEND SAVE NOW will be a thought-provoking, plastic fantastic, visual melee of objects and ideas from our everyday lives, re-contextualised to question our space and place in urban New Zealand as Pacific people” says artist, Ema Tavola.

The First G-Suss

The Second G-Suss

G-Suss (2007) Trolley, synthetic rose vines, synthetic Jesus wall-hanging, faux lace, sliver bowls, Roman candles

This trolley featured a polyester Jesus wall-hanging, which caught fire from the three candles below it on the first day of the exhibition. The charred remains of Jesus 1 were left and a Jesus 2 replaced it. Surprisingly, it was difficult to find a Jesus wall-hanging exactly the same as the first, and Jesus 2 looks a little bit more doey eyed and Fabio-esque. The ‘V’ bottle was used to put out some of the fire from Jesus 1, so is now part of the installation. This trolley was from FoodWorld, whose slogan is Bringing Cultures Together.

GamBLING (2007) Trolley, assorted festive lights, glitter 

This trolley speaks about the lures and traps of gambling and references the scary and disproportionate representation of Pacific peoples in the statistics of problem gambling in New Zealand. It speaks of desire, instant gratification and attraction, whilst the lights on the outside of the trolley can also be seen as barbed-wire like, all used to ‘dress up’ what is essentially a dead-end cage.


TransPLANTATION (2007) Trolley, assorted litter from the Otara Town Centre, Taro (colocasia esculenta) plant.

This trolley houses a collection of rubbish sourced from the Otara Town Centre, not from rubbish bins, but from the ground. Growing out of this waste is a young taro plant (colocasia esculenta). The romanticism of planting one’s culture in another land is evoked, but also the relationship between polluting the body and polluting the land. All the food packaging sourced from the Otara Town Centre, grease stained brown bakery bags, Irvines $1 pie wrapping, Starz drink bottles, lamb flap bones and detritus from fried chicken, are foods that are severly affecting our lives and future generations in New Zealand, and also accross the region. Other rubbish sourced included Instant Kiwi, TAB stubs, bank receipts reading 1-2 figure balances. Our waste tells us so much about who we are.


Shigeyuki Kihara | Leilani Salesa | Ema Tavola

23 March – 14 April 2007

Fresh Gallery Otara

 More photos from BUY SPEND SAVE NOW

One thought on “BUY SPEND SAVE NOW

  1. Great Stuff! Wish all could see your exposing of the lie of modern consumerist culture !
    I would have loves to go do such an exhibition at our local shopping mall!

    God bless !

    Daan van Wyk
    Worcester, South Africa

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