Family Memories: Capturing Stories From Different Time-lines Within the Tongan Traditional Crafts of Ngatu (Decorated Barkcloth) Making and Kupesi (Embroidered Stencil) Design
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This project derives from a personal interpretation of lea mu’a (old saying) and lea Faka-Tonga (Tongan language), which is translated into kupesi symbols to produce a contemporary Tongan ngatu. The research utilises visual language of ancient Tonga and today‘s lea Faka-Tonga to emanate tala tukufakaholo with my family, a collection of knowledge about the history of hingoa fakafamili , tupu‘anga, and manatu about my Nena and myself. This tala tukufakaholo tātānaki(to collect) reflects not only the past tala tupu‘a (myth or legend handed down from ancient times) but also the space the ngatu occupies. It is present; for instance, in my art practice, it relates to the notion of learning through listening, observation, and doing with a focus on how this mode of practising can position itself in a contemporary space of artmaking. The physical materials used are natural materials from the niu, the paongo, feta’aki, and fau – along with methods and processes of ngatu and kupesi making; tui kupesi and to spread out the kupesi onto the papa koka’anga.