WWJD is the final exhibition curated by outgoing gallery manager, Fijian Ema Tavola. As well as a night of celebration, the night was therefore also an emotional one for Tavola, with several people taking time to speak about her fearless advocacy for arts in and of South Auckland.
WWJD, standing for ‘What Would Jim Do,’ is a play on the popular 1990s phrase ‘What Would Jesus Do’ and honours the work of the late Cook Islands curator Jim Vivieaere, who passed away in 2011.
Tavola says that, reflecting on his influence in her own curatorial work, she wanted to pay homage to Vivieaere’s efforts in championing the infinite possibilities of Contemporary Pacific Art.
Viviaeare is especially remembered for his ground-breaking 1994 Bottled Ocean exhibition, which launched at City Gallery in Wellington and travelled nationally. A number of works feature in the exhibition, and Ema calls them a representation of the “real-world creative outputs” of South Auckland.
Its centrepiece is a collage of 66 photos taken at this year’s Polyfest, showcasing fashion and hairstyles of Pacific youth. Called “The Polyfest Hair Project,” it’s a work created by photographer Vinesh Kumaran in collaboration with Tavola.
Renee Bevan, Nigel Borell, Rebecca Ann Hobbs, Vinesh Kumaran, Sangeeta Singh, Coco Solid, Gary Silipa, Benjamin Work and New Flava Barbers,
11 May – 23 June
Fresh Gallery Otara, Auckland< BACK TO LISTINGS