- Metallic print on 4mm aluminium dibond
- Gift of the Friends of Christchurch Art Gallery, 2017
- 848 x 195mm
In Seta, Ane Tonga depicts the nifo koula, or gold tooth, of a family member in Aotearoa. For Tongan communities living outside Tonga, nifo koula is a way of remaining connected in memory to the islands; many receive their nifo koula in Tonga as a way of commemorating a trip. There is a gendered aspect to the role of nifo koula, as adornment worn by women. The gold used for the dental procedure is often sourced from old family jewellery, lending further layers of ancestral connection for the wearer.
While it has become a contemporary Tongan ‘tradition’, nifo koula also relates to transnational visual culture through its relationship to the metal grills, or tooth jewellery, of US hip-hop culture. Combined with the bold red lipstick and leopard print earrings, this image of nifo koula gives voice to an aspect of contemporary Tongan culture.
(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )