research question

I would like to explore the carved Atua/Gods placed in temples of pre-colonial Pasifika.

Through my studio practice I want to create objects that imbue the tapu felt in these original symbols. With the physical forms I make, I would like to explore the themes attached to the materiality, space, size etc. I would also like to delve into the mythology of these objects and see where it takes me.

Through the contextual work I want to explore the cultural implications of pre-colonial vs post-colonial. Semiotics across these time periods and how these figures stand in this post-colonial, post-modern, globalised environment. Through this research I will build on top of my previous theories (2020 studio practice). I would like to include “blood memories*” in the research and my ideas of shamanism. Specifically, the relationship between the shaman and their taonga, which has been tapped into through my work PONO: Ku/Hina.

Screenshot from Taonga which was a video installed next to PONO: Ku/Hina

I’m not particularly interested in negative subject matter such colonisation, Christianity, the relationship between museums and ‘primitive’ cultures and the harmful act of “research**”. Although, I won’t deny it’s not relevant. Negativity doesn’t help or fuel my creative process and I'm trying to stay away from it.

*Blood Memories: A term I first heard from Rosanna Raymond, describing the idea that culture is embedded in someone’s bones. In the discussion of nurture vs nature, the term “blood memories” leans towards nature.

**The harmful nature of ‘research’ into ‘primitive’ cultures addressed in Linda Tuhi-wai Smith’s first chapter of her book: Decolonizing Methodologies.