The stories of our Moana atua are a focal point of the 'Teine Sa' series, which looks at some hard hitting contemporary issues for Pacific women, and how ancient deities of the past are invoked to deal with these situations.
Over the years many Moana artists have created their own visualisations of these deities that were a sourse of inspiration for some of the visual ideas & imagery in the 'Teine Sa' series.
Here are some of these pieces honouring our deities of the past, - and where you can find out more information on these artworks.
Lindah Lepou - AITU triptych series:
The show included Lepou garments, and photos of models wearing Lepou garments in the Samoan villages where the aitu are believed to dwell. The photos were shot by fashion photographer George Buckleton. The show offered "an opportunity to reconsider the nature of aitu and the role of women in Samoan history"
Check out the rest of her show that was at the City Gallery Wellington online here
Lisa Reihana 'Digital Marae' - Atua' series:
In the making of 'Teine Sa' one of the inspirations behind an inspiration for the fictional character of 'Ahi', was the seminal work of Lisa Reihana and her 'Digital Marae' series of atua.
With the lyricism of magic realism, Reihana’s digital photographs seamlessly fuse traditional and contemporary motifs and offer new representations of Māori ancestral figures that convey the complex narratives of Māori mythology to make it accessible to global audiences. Furthermore, by incorporating varied identities Reihana’s Digital Marae echoes the desire for an inclusive contemporary marae that would interpret mythology and re-examine Maori identity itself.
View her Digital Marae Media online here
Shigeyuki Kihara - 'Velvet Dreams' series 2014
Shigeyuki's work in her 'Velvet Dreams' series came out of a period where tropes of the 'dusky maiden' was a popular point of discussion. The theme of self representation in artist work, and the high gloss imagery in the series was influential in Episode 1 of the 'Teine Sa' series.
"Velvet Dreams brings together works from two early bodies of work by Shigeyuki Kihara, including Faleaitu: House of Spirits (2003) and Vavau: Tales of Ancient Samoa (2004).Both series saw Kihara examining Samoan legend and mythology from within, deconstructing the frameworks of cultural identity, spirituality, and narrative traditions."
View her Milford Galleries Dunedin Velvet Dreams exhibition here
Jordan Kwan - Nafanua series
Check out his Nafanua series here
The research, writing, choreography, styling and garment construction in this film was a collaborative process, honouring the tradition of fāgogo by sharing the responsibility of telling this story and allowing artists to respond to their own cultural heritage unpacking the colonial gaze placed on queer brown bodies to return gender and sexually diverse identities back to their oracle status." - Dunedin Art Museum
Marks of Mana - The Legend of Taema and Tilafaiga - Lisa Taouma/ Twayne Laumua as styled by Lindah Lepou
In this video piece that pays homage to the Samoan atua ‘Taema and Tilafaiga’, the video features artist Lindah Lepou’s stylised vision of these goddesses of tatau. With exagerated headpieces and swathes of blood red cloth, the images evoke an ‘otherwordly’ feel to the story.
Sima Urale - Velvet Dreams
Made for TVNZ's Work of Art series, Velvet Dreams played in multiple international film festivals." - NZ on Screen
#Watch "Velvet Dreams" here