The works in Nimamea'a: The fine arts of Tongan embroidery and crochet can be recognised as objects of beauty and skilled making. These embroidered and crocheted works have a completely different, and high, status within the fine arts of Tonga compared with the status of embroidery and crochet within the contemporary arts of New Zealand. While these works might look familiar in one sense, as objects they operate in quite a different way, within Tongan culture, to the way embroidery and crochet generally operate within mainstream New Zealand culture, which the curators describe in their writing in the accompanying publication.
The makers of the works featured in Nimamea'a: The fine arts of Tongan embroidery and crochet are; Kolokesa Kulikefu, Tu'utanga Hunuhunu Mahina, Manuesina Tonata, Lingisiva 'Aloua, Noma 'Ofa-ki-Nu'usila Talakia'atu, Falesiu Siu and Lupe Mahe.
Curators Kolokesa Uafa Mahina-Tuai and Manuesina 'Ofa-ki-Hautolo Mahina state, "We wanted to do a show on the fine arts of Tongan embroidery and crochet simply because of the lack of awareness and visibility that these two art forms have outside of a Tongan context. We hope that this exhibition will give people an aesthetic appreciation of these two art forms and an insight into their significance from a Tongan cultural context."
Publication: Nimamea'a: The fine arts of Tongan embroidery and crochet.
This exhibition catalogue features the research and fine writing of curators Kolokesa Uafa Mahina-Tuai and Manuesina 'Ofa-ki-Hautolo Mahina, which contextualises the works within the framework of Tongan art. Each of the works in the exhibition is comprehensively described, and all text has been translated into Tongan by Hufanga Dr 'Okusitino Mahina.
Public Programme: Join exhibition curators Kolokesa Uafa Mahina-Tuai and Manuesina 'Ofa-ki-Hautolo Mahina for a floor talk, Saturday 3 December, 11am.