tonga (born 1959)

This 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 oluga (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.

Filipe Tohi

 Uakupenga and Kupengaua 2007
 collection of the artist

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 threedimensional 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.