Edith Amituanai and Sione Tuívailala Monū: Toloa Tales

8 June – 10 October 2024

New video works trace migratory threads across Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa as the artists return to their ancestral homeland.

In 2023, Tāmaki Makaurau-based artists Sione Tuívailala Monū (Aotearoa, Australia, Tonga) and Edith Amituanai (Aotearoa, Samoa) travelled to Samoa to celebrate a friend’s participation in the Miss Samoa Fa’afafine Pageant and visit Edith’s family. Sione was interested in exploring historical and familial connections between Tonga and Samoa, and both were thinking about what it means to return to an ancestral homeland, for themselves and others.

For the Pacific diaspora, how is identity and culture maintained through migration to other countries, such as Aotearoa, Australia, or the United States? The title Toloa Tales is a play on the proverb ‘e lele le toloa ae ma’au lava ile vai’, meaning the Pacific duck or toloa flies far, but will always return to water; that no matter how far one journeys, there is always a desire to come home. In these new video works Edith and Sione share personal stories and exchanges, exploring their relationship to the ‘motherland’ as they capture tender moments of everyday life.  

 

Made with generous support from Creative New Zealand.