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Kindred Spirits: Artists' Kōrero

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Venture into Sione Monū and Manuha’apai Vaeatangitau’s sparkling, futuristic world of 'Kindred: A Leitī Chronicle' with an exclusive artists’ kōrero this July.

Sione and Manu will be joined by artist Edith Amituanai, exploring the many threads which come together to form 'Kindred: A Leitī Chronicle'. The kōrero will cover the background and process behind Kindred, as well as the brand-new Members tote bag which features original work from the artists created exclusively for you, our Members. Light refreshments will be available before and after the talk, courtesy of Almighty Drinks.

About the exhibition:
Tongan artists Sione Monū and Manuha’apai Vaeatangitau are the third artists in the South Atrium Window Commission, generously funded by Auckland Contemporary Arts Trust.

Visitors can enter Monū and Vaeatangitau’s radically imagined and ever-evolving futuristic reality centred on leitī (transgender women) as elite, glamazons called ‘ultimate leitī.’

Their new multi-sensory installation, 'Kindred: A Leitī Chronicle' presents a pantheon of ultimate leitī. The series of painted portraits include important leitī leaders such as activist and advocate Joey Mataele and Monū’s family members George Manumua. Each portrait is executed in the artist’s playful graphic style and made regal with Monū’s honorific beaded headdresses that link them back to the world of leitī.

An accompanying soundscape draws intertwines contemporary classical music and vogue chanting with a long-running dialogue that showcases Vaeatangitau’s power as a spoken-word artist. Mixing imagery and sound, 'Kindred: A Leitī Chronicle' crosses between the material and immaterial, creating a world that is fleeting, humorous, and yet hopeful.

About the speakers:
Sione Monū (@sione_has_doubts) is an interdisciplinary artist based between Auckland and Canberra. Sione has exhibited across Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia and has emerged as a unique voice within Pacific art. They first drew acclaim for video-based works that articulated profound observations of nature and everyday experiences of a queer person living in diaspora. A graduate of Campbelltown Tafe in Sydney, Sione works across the mediums of drawing, moving images, fashion, adornment and performance.

Manuha’apai (Manu) Vaeatangitau (@puririmothszn) is an interdisciplinary artist who responds to themes of gentrification and cultural transformation and seeks to assert queer Pacific identities into social and cultural visibility. Manu is part of Fanau Spa, a 9-piece collective of musicians, rappers, artists and performers, and makes The Manu & Coco Podcast with celebrated artist Coco Solid.

Edith Amituanai (@edith_amituanai) is a photographer based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Born to Samoan parents, Edith is known for her striking portraiture which captures the experiences of the Pacific diaspora in Aotearoa. In 2007, Edith became the inaugural recipient of the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award, and in 2019, she became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to the community and photography.

6.00 pm Light refreshments courtesy of Almighty Drinks
6.30 pm Artists’ kōrero between Sione Monū, Manu Vaeatangitau and Edith Amituanai
7.15 pm Light refreshments courtesy of Almighty Drinks

About Young Members: Young Members is a periodic e-newsletter and event programme for the art-obsessed under 40.

Each event offers a perfect wind-down after work, an activity for a first date, a catch-up with friends or a chance to meet someone totally new. You’ll hear from fresh, contemporary voices, artists and curators and of course, enjoy a complimentary drink, including the best non-alcoholic beverages from our mates at Almighty.

While designed for those under 40, if you're a Member who's young at heart, feel free to join us.

This event is part of our membership programme. Join us for $55 per year.

Image credit: Sione Monū, 'Only Yesterday', 2020 (detailed still). Courtesy of the artist. Photo credit: Edith Amituanai.

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