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Press Release – Ashburton Gallery

The Ashburton Art Gallery is pleased to present Tonga I Onopooni: Tonga Contemporary , an exhibition of contemporary Tonga art, from Pataka Art+Museum, Porirua. The Ashburton Art Gallery is one of only three venues in the South Island to host this exhibition …A CELEBRATION OF TONGAN ART AND CULTURE

The Ashburton Art Gallery is pleased to present Tonga ‘I Onopooni: Tonga Contemporary, an exhibition of contemporary Tonga art, from Pataka Art+Museum, Porirua. The Ashburton Art Gallery is one of only three venues in the South Island to host this exhibition from Wednesday 11th November through to Sunday 24th January. This groundbreaking exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on the work of artists of Tongan heritage living in New Zealand.

This show will open to the public on Tuesday the 10th of November at 6pm in partnership with the Tongan families of Ashburton who will support this exhibition opening with a celebratory evening of traditional performance and food. All are welcome to attend, we hope many people will come along to experience the wonderful diversity of the art and connect with the local Tongan families.

Tonga ‘I Onopooni: Tonga Contemporary consist of work by twelve Tongan artists, all of whom now live in New Zealand. The works of these artists is diverse and includes sculpture, painting, tapa, photography, video and installation.

Exhibition Curator Nina Kinahoi Tonga says, “Collectively the works in this exhibition embody the experiences of Tongan people living in New Zealand whose connection (and disconnections) from afar continually enrich notions of Tonga.” Tonga will make a special trip to Ashburton to give a floor talk on the 17th of December at 5:30pm to discuss the works included in the exhibition.

In conjunction with this exhibition throughout December at the Gallery we invite visitors to take inspiration from artist Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi works. In particular his collection of Haukulasi which are three dimensional woven works in string and kafa (sennit) with all visitors being invited to make their own woven hanging decorations.

ENDS

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