Tonga 'i Onopooni: Tonga Contemporary
Tonga ‘i Onopooni: Tonga Contemporary consists of work by twelve Tongan artists, all of whom now live in New Zealand. The work of these artists is diverse and includes sculpture, painting, tapa, photography, and video highlighting the dynamic and outgoing nature of this Pacific nation.
Exhibition Curator Nina Kinahoi Tonga says, “Collectively the works in this exhibition embody the experiences of Tongan people living in New Zealand whose connections (and disconnections) from afar continually enrich notions of Tonga.”
Forrester Gallery Director Jane Macknight says, "It is important that we recognise and work with our extensive Pasifika community in Waitaki. In 2008 Pataka put together a highly successful exhibition of contemporary Samoan art, so when the opportunity to tour an exhibition of Tongan art came up we worked hard with Pataka and our partner venues to make it a reality.”
The gallery will open late on Tuesday nights until 7pm for this exhibition, so that as many people as possible can experience the wonderful diversity of this art and explore our connections to Tonga.
The President of the Tongan community in the Waitaki district ‘Api Fifita says, “The Tongan community are delighted to support this exhibition and will be hosting a celebratory event at the Forrester Gallery on Saturday 21 March.”
The Forrester Gallery, is pleased to present Tonga ‘i Onopooni: Tonga Contemporary, an exhibition of contemporary Tongan art, from Pataka Art + Museum, Porirua. The Gallery will be the first of only three venues in the South Island to host the exhibition from Saturday 21 February through to Monday 6 April 2015.
The Forrester Gallery is also partnering with Pembroke School to run a series of art workshops and the artworks created will be displayed in the gallery throughout March and April. Check out the gallery blog for more information.
This exhibition is supported by the Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust and Creative New Zealand.
Image: Installation of Tonga ‘i Onopooni: Tonga Contemporary at the Forrester Gallery, works shown: Julian Hooper Queen, 2008 and Dagmar Dyck Which side are you on?, 2014.