An Auckland Festival of Photography [AFP] exhibition of work by photographers of Māori and Pacific heritage is expected to make a major impact at next month’s Pingyao International Photography Festival in China. Ata Te Tangata, curated by Rosanna Raymond, will feature at Pingyao between 19 and 25 September, before showing as a core element of next year’s Auckland Festival of Photography (June 1-23, 2017).
Ata Te Tangata is a survey show that focuses on current practice of Māori and Pacific photographers from Aotearoa New Zealand. Their images tell a multitude of stories, bringing to light the people and landscapes of a contemporary Polynesian experience unique to Aotearoa New Zealand. Ata Te Tangata features works by a ‘who’s who’ of contemporary Maori and Pacific photographers based here, including Siliga David Setoga, Terry Koloamatangi Klavenes, Tanu Gago, Ane Tonga, Grant Apiata, Linda T, Raymond Sagapolutele, Russ Flatt, Lisa Reihana, Emily Mafile’o, Pati Solomona Tyrell and Natalie Robertson.
“One of AFP’s key objectives is to support emerging, mid-career and major New Zealand photographers,” The Auckland Festival of Photography Trust says. “AFP is a founding member of the Asia Pacific Photoforum since 2010 and Ata Te Tangata was conceived and specifically curated for our official partners, the Pingyao International Photography Festival. After this international exposure, Ata Te Tangata will then be shown to Auckland audiences as part of 2017’s festival of photography – and may yet tour elsewhere.”
Ata Te Tangata curator Rosanna Raymond says the people and landscape of the Pacific have been viewed and constructed by the lens of the West since first contact.
“Photography played a huge part in contributing to the visual mythology that defined the Pacific body, the land and ocean. Ata Te Tangata redefines the gaze. The person behind the lens is genealogically and geographically a part of the community they are portraying. This allows for more nuanced representations, reflecting the world around them. These images tell a multitude of stories, bringing to light the people and landscapes of a contemporary Polynesian experience unique to Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Rosanna.
Rosanna Raymond is an artist, writer, performer and curator. Her artworks are held in museum and private collections around the world. During the past 20 years, Rosanna has forged a role as a producer and commentator on contemporary Pacific Islands culture, working in the visual arts realm and higher education institutions in Oceania, Britain and the United States. Rosanna is of Samoan descent and was born in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. She co-founded the SaVAge K’lub collective and, in 2015, curated a major installation for the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art.
Pingyao is the world’s largest photography Festival and this is the fifth year the Auckland Festival of Photography has been engaged with their annual programme. AFP has worked on an international programme featuring emerging, mid-career New Zealand photographers in China since 2012.
The Auckland Festival of Photography is a founding member of the Asia Pacific Photoforum – a regional grouping of international photography festivals across New Zealand, Australia, Asia and Pacific Rim. The Asia Pacific Photoforum seeks to further the presence of photography across the Asia Pacific region as a medium for artistic expression and truthful dissemination of ideas and information in an increasingly globalising world.
Asia Pacific Photoforum members comprise: Angkor Photo Festival (Cambodia), Ballarat International Foto Biennale, Head On Photo Festival, Shimmer Biennale of Photography (Australia), Chiang Mai Month of Photography (Thailand), Chobi Mela (Bangladesh), Fotografica Bogota (Colombia), Guatephoto (Guatemala), Higashikawa International Photography Festival (Japan), Obscura Festival of Photography (Malaysia), Pingyao International Photography Festival (China), Singapore International Photography Festival (Singapore) and, of course, the Auckland Festival of Photography (New Zealand).
Auckland Festival of Photography
China Pingyao International Photography