Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi

Tonga/New Zealand
Born 1959

This sculpture represents the two kupenga (nets) - the net of the Heavens and net of the Earth. You can say in Tongan kupenga i loto (inside net) and kupenga i tua (outside net) or kupenga i lalo (underneath) and kupenga o luga (above).

It is also the kupenga of space; it is about the spirit net which brings things like people or fish together. It can also be said to bring ideas together. It is about navigation also, like land and sea.



此作品所表現的是兩種「kupenga」(網)—天羅與地網。也可以是東加語言中的「kupenga i loto」(內在之網)與「kupenga i tua」(外在之網),或是「kupenga i lalo」(下方之網)與「kupenga oluga」(上方之網)。


Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi

Uakupenga and Kupengaua 2007
Timber 300 x 116 x 32 cm (each) x 2
Collection of the artist

Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi is one of Tonga's most esteemed artists, and an international expert on the history and practice of traditional Pacific lashing.

Using the principles of lalava (binding and lashing), he has constructed three-dimensional sculptures that echo the inside and outside of fishing nets. The construction of large fishing nets from plaited sennit (coconut fibre) was one of the traditional arts found throughout the Tongan Islands. This sculpture has no front or back as both sides can serve as both exteriors and interiors. By utilising ancient patterns in innovative ways, Tohi reveals how learnings from history always fuel the vitality of the present day.

天羅地網 2007
木材 300 x 116 x 32 cm (每件) x 2