I once Googled images of the words ‘Pacific Islanders in New Zealand’.
On the very first page I saw:
A sasa (traditional Samoan dance)
A rugby game
A graph of P.I and Maori diabetic statistics and
A picture of the words “unemployment”.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about it.
Representation as documented through a lens has always been problematic. Historically this has involved critiques regarding ‘the real’ and ‘truth’ in documentary practices. ‘You are why I am’ investigates bi-cultural Pasifika identity, in an urban landscape without stereotyping it. Identities are complex as people are influenced by social and political structures such as school, family, and work. Although experiences can be very similar each individual’s everyday experience is unique. Accordingly these moving image works address personalised life stories and experience.
‘You are why I am’ use the images, memories and thoughts of my family and friends as a springboard to discuss themes regarding diaspora, interracial relationships, class, familial histories, communal history, stereotypes and the politics of language. These memories demonstrate how something said in the name of memory can change one’s sense of being in the world. Memories are ephemeral eventually fading with time, and so the sharing of memory is precious. The installation of ‘You are why I am’ creates an intimate experience for the viewer as they are invited to witness my family and friends personal understandings i.e. who we once were, who we are now and who we will become as we are continuously being influenced and shaped by our experiences.
This is a review about the show Home AKL (a great show, I fully recommend!) which is currently showing at the Auckland Art Gallery. Although I’m not in the show I do get this kind of shout out which is so awesome!
My first solo publication, written by an amazing artist and friend Lana Lopesi.
The writing critiques my work ‘Louisa’, ‘Samuel’ and ‘Josephina’ which was exhibited in the Tautai tertiary show ‘This must be the place’.
My first review! Yay!!