Significations of the Pacific Male Body

By: ane tonga


My practice has often voiced my interests and concerns from my position as a female, an artist and a Tongan woman. Recently, I have been more interested in the significations of the Pacific Male Body and how this has been explored in artistic practice in New Zealand. Artists such as the recently nominated Walters Prize Finalist Kalisolaite 'Uhila and senior artist Michael Parekowhai examine the Maori and Pacific male bodies that have dually signified the protector and figure of intimidation while Greg Semu destabilises colonial representations of Pacific adornment practices.

Within this, I've also harked back to aspirational figures that my elder brothers identified with- at a time where there was little representation of Pacific people such as
such as: Michael Jordan; Bruce Lee; Arnold Schwarzenegger. More local stars included
popular sporting starts Jonah Lomu, Michael Jones and David Tua- to name a few.

This is a small collection of things that are part of an on-going investigation. More to come soon.

Copy Link