Te Tuhi presents two projects by emerging Manukau-based artists Vea Mafile'o and Hungwei Chuang.
Vea Mafile'o's exhibition 'Who will douse the kingdom?' documents riots which took place in her ancestral homeland Tonga's capital city Nuku'alofa on the 16th November, 2006. She screens confiscated footage of a number of occurrences in the event, from the protesters gathering peacefully outside the parliamentary building to the ensuing violence that followed, causing multiple deaths, looting and fires which reportedly damaged as much as sixty percent of the local business district.
Her recent return to Tonga nearly a year following the incident conveys fully the scale of this event where only concrete foundations reside where these buildings once stood.
Hungwei Chuang probes questions of taste in art. Yet rather than offering up sound notions of beauty or aesthetics, she seeks out the 'bad' artwork, things that turn off both artists and their audiences alike.
An early project was her 'Worst Art Award 2006' in which artists were invited to submit the most terribly clichéd artwork they could produce. Another humorous project documents her Trade Me art auctions. Here Chuang sources whimsical ephemera from artists she admires and auctions them as conceptual artworks in order to provoke responses from sellers. These experiments are so successful that even Trade Me representatives become involved, removing her items on the grounds of them being 'inappropriate', 'with unrealistic reserves'.
Undeterred, Chuang launches new live auctions of these rejected items directly from the Te Tuhi gallery for the duration of the exhibition.