Tunakaimanu Fielakepa, the Dowager Lady Fielakepa, with Cosmin Costinas and Vivian Ziherl, @ARTSPACE AOTEAROA


Koloa: Fafine, ‘Aati, Mo e Tekinolosia / Women, Art, and Technology by Tunakaimanu Fielakepa, the Dowager Lady Fielakepa, with Cosmin Costinas and Vivian Ziherl


14 November – 5 February (2020 – 2021)


Artspace Aotearoa, 292 Karangahape Rd, Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland


Oku hounga ia a e Artspace Aotearoa ke fakaha a e “Koloa: Fafine, ‘Aati, Mo e Tekinolosia / Women, Art, and Technology. Ko e tu’o tolu eni e fakaha ngaahi Koloa ni; ‘Oku fakamamafa pea e katonga’i, e mahuinga pea mo e laukau ‘aki etau Koloa FakaTonga a ha’a Fafine, ngaue fakamea’a , ngaahi founga motu’a, mo e fakakoloa aki etau ngaahi katoanga fakafonua.

Artspace Aotearoa is proud to present the third international iteration of Koloa: Fafine, ‘Aati, Mo e Tekinolosia / Women, Art, and Technology; an exhibition that centres on the significance of the female artistic lineage of Tongan koloa, to generate a transformative-context in which female Indigenous practises are a pivotal cultural force.

The exhibition brings to Aotearoa over ninety unique ngatu / barkcloth works from the collection of Tunakaimanu Fielakepa, the Dowager Lady Fielakepa, revered as the foremost authority on customary Tongan art practices in the Kingdom of Tonga. Her wealth of knowledge has and continues to be called upon by museums and institutions as an advisory, and contributor to global Indiginous scholarship.

In 2019, the Dowager Lady Fielakepa exhibited her extensive collection of rare and new Tongan artworks in Koloa: Women, Art and Textiles, an exhibition at Langafonua ‘a Fafine, Tonga. This site was established in 1953 by Queen Sālote Tupou III, as a historic centre for women’s customary arts. The exhibition was a momentous cotemporal occasion; it paid tribute to the cultural and social significance of koloa art practises while honoring the Dowager Lady Fielakepa for her life-long commitment to, and passion for the endurance and vitality of these diverse practices. (Koloa connotes something of treasured value; interchangeable material and immaterial wealth.)

Koloa was shown for a second time at independent art space Para Site, Hong Kong, in an expanded exhibition that included work by contemporary female practitioners: Tanya Edwards (Tongan, Māori, Tainui), Nikau Hindin (Ngai Tūpoto, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) and Vaimaila Urale (Sāmoa). For this third iteration of Koloa, Artspace Aotearoa focusses on the potentiality that these female practitioners embody, making-vital Indigenous narratives and knowledge while generating progressive perspectives through adaptive contemporary methodologies. Additionally, works by Sarah Vaki and Tutana Tetuanui from Tahiti will be on display at Artspace Aotearoa.


Design: Amy Yalland, 2020

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