For Te Tuhi’s Project Wall, Numangatini Mackenzie presents a mural based on the tradition of Patutiki (Marquesan tattooing). Mackenzie confronts the contemporary proliferation and appropriation of indigenous tattoo traditions and explores the implications this has on reading the histories embedded in these traditional patterns.
Mackenzie uses Patutiki patterns to form letters from the alphabet, imagining a space where the different forms of knowledge held within actions, making, and oral traditions can co-exist. Numangatini Mackenzie is an interdisciplinary artist working in aerosol, print, patterning and mixed media installation.
This work is an extension of his woodblock print series titled Faux Patutiki and is based on his observations of the revival of French Polynesian tattoo culture in the early 1980s.