Tongans have traditionally experienced time as cyclical. Important personalities, events and patterns take on an archetypal quality because they reoccur from one era to the next. The Western notion of time as a one-way road into the future, and of events as individual and unrepeatable, is alien to traditional Tongan thought, seen in a Tongan proverb that they ‘walk forward into the past and backward into the future’.
Benjamin Work’s upcoming exhibition – ToutoutÄ (‘to mark or strike repeatedly’) â€“ delves into the act of repetition. His new works continue to explore the heliaki (semiotics) of the Akau tau (ancient Tongan war clubs) that are adorned with warrior symbols, the Tuiâ€™ Tonga (Sacred Ruler), and societal and spiritual constructs. He applies ToutoutÄ to his more well-known & minimalistic paintings, by combining the three key elements in important Tongan philosophy: Tatau (symmetry), Potupotutatau (harmony) and Faka `ofa `ofa (beauty).1
1 Professor HÅ«fanga Dr ‘Okusitino MÄhina.Â TÄ & VÄ and Moana:Temporality, Spatiality and Indigeneity.
30 April – 2 May
Olivia Laita Gallery, 40 Princess Street, Auckland< BACK TO LISTINGS