The original art work Fata ‘O Fu’itonga by artist Filipe Tohi will be on display at The Langham for the duration of the upcoming rugby tournament.
Auckland Council’s ‘Adopt a Second Team’ festivities are off to an early start with the official launch of K’ Road’s partnership with Tonga. Karangahape Road Business Association (KBA) will be marking its support of Tonga and its ‘Ikale Tahi team for the Rugby World Cup 2011 period with the installation and blessing of an artwork by esteemed Tongan artist Filipe Tohi. A photographic representation of a new work by Filipe, entitled Fata ‘O Fu’itonga, meaning carrying the kings, has been rendered on a 22m long by 4m high billboard and installed on a building owned by The Langham overlooking K’ Road.
The unveiling of the banner is the first time Filipe’s work, which takes inspiration from the traditional Pacific Island practice of binding or lalava, has been exhibited in such a format and its prominent position at the intersections of K’Road, Symonds St and Grafton Bridge means it is expected to be widely viewed by both pedestrians and motorists.
It is Filipe’s hope that the physical and metaphorical layers of the piece will reveal themselves gradually to passers-by through repeated viewings and that his contemporary employment of the historical Tongan practice of lashing, will bring people together as lalava has bound structures together in Tongan building practice over time. Visitors, he believes, ‘will be interested to see something that’s new to them.’
‘The partnering of K’ Road with Tonga for RWC 2011, will be stimulating creative as well as business opportunities for retailers and forging new partnerships,’ says KBA Precinct Manager Barbara Holloway. And there are plans for the link up to continue beyond the world’s most prestigious rugby tournament.
‘We want it to have a legacy. We aim to have an annual celebration of partnership with Tonga focusing on promoting trade with the Island and maintaining this as a long-term partnership stream.’
The original art work 'Fata ‘O Fu’itonga' by artist Filipe Tohi