Tatau: Marks of Polynesia

National Exhibition Register

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About the exhibition

Tatau: Marks of Polynesia will present the 2,000-year-old origins and current practices of tatau tradition in the land of its inception, with particular emphasis on the influential Sulu’ape family and their disciples.The JANM exhibition will explore the beauty of tatau as well as its key role in the preservation and propagation of Samoan culture.

The spread of the art form outside of Samoa and some of its more contemporary applications will be demonstrated with photographs taken in New Zealand, Hawai‘i, California, and Nevada.

The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) will explore Samoan tattoo traditions in a new exhibition titled Tatau: Marks of Polynesia, opening July 30, 2016. The photography installation will showcase the striking work of Samoan tattoo masters as well as younger apprentices and practitioners working within and influenced by the tradition today.

Tatau: Marks of Polynesia will present the 2,000-year-old origins and current practices of tatau tradition in the land of its inception, with particular emphasis on the influential Sulu’ape family and their disciples. The JANM exhibition will explore the beauty of tatau as well as its key role in the preservation and propagation of Samoan culture. The spread of the art form outside of Samoa and some of its more contemporary applications will be demonstrated with photographs taken in New Zealand, Hawai‘i, California, and Nevada.

Artists and Curator

Curator
Takahiro Kitamura
Artists

Among the artists whose work will be represented are Su’a Alaiva’a Petelo Sulu’ape, Su’a Peter Sulu’ape, Su’a Paul Sulu’ape, Su’a Sulu’ape Aisea Toetu’u, Sulu’ape Steve Looney, Tuigamala Andy Tauafiafi, Mike Fatutoa, and Siisiialafia Liufau.

Additional artists will be included to help showcase a broad spectrum of Samoan- and Polynesian-inspired tattoo work. Tatau is curated by Takahiro Kitamura, the master tattoo artist and author who previously curated Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World, which originated at JANM and is currently being featured at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. Kitamura is collaborating with Edward Danielson, MA, a lecturer in the University of Hawai‘i Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures; Sulu’ape Steve Looney and Danielle Steffany-Looney of Pacific Soul Tattoo in Hawai‘i; and Sean Mallon, author and Senior Curator of Pacific Cultures at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Exhibition photography will be contributed by John Acgaoili.

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
25/07/2018 - 31/12/2022
Exhibition size
Over 100 sq or running metres
Originating state
VIC
Organised by
Japanese American National Museum
Price
$40,000 (exc. freight) - Contact to discuss
Web Site
https://flyingfishexhibits.com/tatau/
Accompanying materials available
Audio Descriptions, Catalogue/Book, Digital Catalogue, Installation Support Available, Interpretative/Didactic Panels, Labels, Media Kit
Primary contact
Jay Brown
Position
Principal, Managing Director
Organisation
Flying Fish Exhibits
Phone
+61400728865
E-mail
info@flyingfishexhibits.com
Secondary contact
Carrie Reid
E-mail
carrier@flyingfishexhibits.com
Acknowledgement
The traveling version of Tatau: Marks of Polynesia is organized by the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California, and is supported, in part, by Mariko Gordon and Hugh Cosman.