Le Folauga

Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust has been delighted to work with the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts to bring this wonderful collection of art to this beautiful venue. It is particularly notable that this exhibition marks an important milestone in the history of Pacific art and artists.

Contemporary Pacific art was first exhibited in Aotearoa New Zealand around twenty-five years ago. It is fitting that two of the artists involved in those early ground breaking exhibitions are again breaking new ground. Johnny Penisula and Fatu Feu'u continue to lead the way for the many talented Pacific artists that have followed their path and it is apt that these two artists are included in what is the first exhibition of contemporary Pacific art from Aotearoa New Zealand to be shown in Asia.

Le Folauga was originally conceived to sit in a museum context alongside an exhibition of historical objects and artefacts that told the story of exploration by Pacific people. Titled Vaka Moana: Vogages of the Ancestors that major exhibition was held at Auckland Museum in 2007 and included over one hundred and fifty important objects from the museum's own collection as well as from international collections.

It is therefore fitting that a re-configured Le Folauga exhibition is making its first journey offshore to a land of such significance to the Austronesian peoples and their movement out across the Pacific Ocean. Although now based in Aotearoa New Zealand the artists taking part in Le Folauga are linked through their heritage and ancestry to those early explorers of the Pacific. Represented in this exhibition are artists with Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Niue, Solomon Islands, and Maori heritage.

The Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust are proud to continue to advocate for and support contemporary Pacific art and artists. Tautai was formed in the 1980s by the Samoan artist Fatu Feu'u with other artists and friends to pursue the goals of promoting and providing profile to pacific heritage artists and their work. It was formerly constituted as a charitable trust in 1995 and receives financial support from Creative New Zealand, a national agency of the New Zealand Government, as well as from other sources. Tautai operates on the understanding that the artists remain independent of Tautai and come together through their Tautai connection to participate in art events.

Tautai maintains a website as a source of information about Pacific art and artists, publishes four newsletters a year, compilies a fortnightly arts diary that is distributed to a wide subscriber list, and runs a full program of events that include workshops for secondary school students, support for tertiary art students, and other activities as well as organising exhibitions. Tautai also provides advocacy and support to artists and a range of other networking initiatives which provide connections and interaction between artists.

As a major part of its advocacy role Tautai arranges exhibitions in order to actively support artists and to promote and publicise contemporary Pacific art in general. The number of Pacific artists and the range of media that they are working in has grown rapidly over the last twenty years and there are now a number of artists who have achieved both national and international reputations. The sixteen visual artists taking part in this exhibition demonstrate the breadth of talent there is in Aotearoa New Zealand working in a range of media.

On behalf of all the artists, Tautai Trust wish to express their gratitude to the Acting Director of the KMFA and his staff for making this exhibition possible. For artists, making art is what they are driven to do, but it also needs to be seen. Having their work exhibited in a such a prestigious venue and in a country which has such significant connections with the Pacific is doubly satisfying.

Gina Cole
Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust
December 2008


TAUTAI當代太平洋藝術信託很高興此次能與高雄市立美術館攜手合作,讓這些精湛的藝術創作於如此美 輪美奐的場地展出。此展係太平洋藝術史與藝術家的重要里程碑,格外值得關注。

當代太平洋藝術於紐西蘭∕奧特亞羅瓦(Aotearoa,譯註:毛利人對紐西蘭的稱呼,意為白色長雲裊繞之地) 的首度展出距今約有25年,當初參與開疆破土的兩位藝術家此次又另闢新的疆界。強尼‧培寧蘇拉(Johnny Penisula)與法圖‧斐烏烏(Fatu Feu'u)再度領航,多位曾追隨其腳步、才華洋溢的太平洋藝術家也跟隨其後,故 此二位藝術家的作品納入此次紐西蘭∕奧特亞羅瓦當代太平洋藝術首次於亞洲的展覽是最適切不過了。

“Le Folauga”展覽最初的規劃係為搭配另一展覽而於同一博物館中展出,後者是歷史文物性質的展覽,旨 在闡述太平洋民族探索開發的故事,該展展名為《大洋之舟-南島先民的航行》,2007年於紐西蘭奧克蘭 博物館盛大舉行,展出150餘件來自該館與國際的重要文物典藏。

因此,經過重新調整策劃後,“Le Folauga”首次遠渡海外而在對於南島民族及其跨越太平洋行動深具意義 的地方展出,是極為恰當的安排。“Le Folauga”的參展藝術家現在雖然居住於紐西蘭∕奧特亞羅瓦,但先 人與傳統仍讓他們與早期的太平洋探索者串連在一起。本展覽所介紹的是具有庫克群島、東加、薩摩亞、 尼烏亞、索羅門群島、毛利等地傳統背景的藝術家。

能繼續推動並支持當代太平洋藝術與藝術家,TAUTAI信託為此深感驕傲。TAUTAI信託係由薩摩亞藝 術家法圖‧斐烏烏、其他藝術家及其友人們於1980年代所建立,創建宗旨在於推介太平洋裔藝術家與其創 作,1995年成為一慈善信託機構,經費上獲得Creative New Zealand紐西蘭國家藝術委員會與其他單位之贊 助。TAUTAI信託的經營理念為藝術家得以獨力發展,不受TAUTAI信託限制,但得透過TAUTAI信託的 網絡而共同參與藝術活動。

TAUTAI信託亦經營提供太平洋藝術與藝術家相關資訊的網站、一年發行四期會訊、編印訂閱量廣大的藝 術日誌雙週刊、舉辦包括中學生研習營之整體活動、獎助大專以上藝術科系學生、籌辦其他活動(如策劃展 覽)等。對於藝術家及為藝術家們提供聯繫互動的系列性創新活動,TAUTAI信託也樂於推介贊助。

安排展出是身為推動者的TAUTAI信託主要的任務之一,藉此主動支持藝術家、提倡推廣當代太平洋藝術。 近20年來,太平洋裔藝術家的人數與其所創作的媒材領域已快速成長,不少藝術家目前已是聞名遐邇、成就 不凡。從參與本展的16位視覺藝術家可以看出,紐西蘭∕奧特亞羅瓦藝術人才輩出,創作媒材廣泛。

TAUTAI信託謹代表全體參展藝術家,感謝高雄市立美術館代理館長與館員促成本展。對藝術家而言,從 事藝術創作固然是責無旁貸之事,然而創作成果的公開展示亦是不可或缺。他們的作品得於如此知名的機 構及與太平洋地區有著重要關連的國家展出,實是令人倍感欣慰。