Tungaru: The Kiribati Project
17 Mar 2016
Tungaru: The Kiribati Project is a collaboration between contemporary New Zealand artists, Kiribati visual artist Chris Charteris and Jeff Smith. Funded by Creative New Zealand to support Pacific arts, the show incorporates sculpture, photography and interactive video.
Tungaru: the Kiribati project features contemporary works of sculpture and applied art by Chris Charteris, created with materials and techniques inspired by the traditions of his Kiribati heritage. Included in this exhibition is the impressive work by Chris, Te Ma, a curving palisade construction of 8,000 Ringed Venus Shells in the shape of the monumental heart-shaped coral fish traps built in lagoons by communities in Kiribati.
Film maker and animator Jeff Smith documented their time in Kiribati and has created digital works with interactive elements. In Te tia Buaka ni Kiribati, Smith has animated Charteris’s uncle Baia and friend Unnang, wearing traditional Kiribati suits of armour. When visitors move in front of the projected images, the warriors mimic their actions.
Tungaru: the Kiribati project connects us with the past and brings ancient cultural traditions into the present through digital technology and contemporary art. While visitors will appreciate the fine craftsmanship of individual works in the exhibition, as a whole this body of works invokes questions – encouraging us to think about change and adaptation from personal, cultural, technological and environmental perspectives.
Exhibition: Opens 9:30am Saturday 19 March- 3 July 2016.
Venue: Southland Museum & Art Gallery. Gallery 3 & 4.