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Tongpop Souvenirs

11 December 2018 — 24 December 2018

This latest instalment of Tongpop continues to focus on souvenir objects and imagery. Using Oceania and Europe as tokens of remembrance, while continuing to explore abstract and figurative compositional possibilities of ngatu and appropriated images from history and European art.

‘Tongpop Souvenirs’ seeks to understand the practice of collecting, purchasing and keeping these objects as a reminder of a person, place and event, intimately linking knowledge with life experiences of those hands and minds that create these objects.

An ongoing process in Tuita’s art making over the last fourteen years has been to obsessively collect unwanted souvenirs from Oceania. It is also a reflection of his concerns around the buying habits of our increasingly throw- away society.

Tuita was born 1980 in Tonga but sent to Australia in 1989, a pivotal moment in forming identity or lack thereof. The unrelenting use of colour and decorative compositions, and the interplay between Tongan ngatu and European portraiture assault the viewer. This complexity reflects the challenge of Tuita’s journey.

‘This body of work is a memento and a gift to my nine-year old self.’ - Telly Tuita, December 2018. 


Telly Tuita