Lapita Mulifanua

Lapita Mulifanua

FEU'U, Fatu, 1946-
Lapita Mulifanua
Woodcut on paper
750 x 530mm

The Artist

Feu'u (b.1946, Samoa) bases much of his work on Samoan symbols and mythical stories. In Samoan oratory, or tala lasi Samoa, all historic event or occurrence is interpreted by each village very differently. Feu'u contemplates binary systems throughout his oeuvre, manifesting traditional Samoan ideals of balance, sacred versus secular, inactive versus active, dignified versus aggressive and so forth. Feu'u is seen as both chief and orator, which he has created and developed for himself within a NZ artistic context - both as artist and educator. Feu'u takes his role very seriously as an elder statesman of the Pacific Arts, using his power and talent to explore and advance the Pacific Arts. Terry Stringer was a huge influence to Feu'u by expressing that being in the Pacific meant doing things the "Pacific way" and not compromising his cultural values due to European influences. Many of Feu'u's works have been exhibited in the Auckland Art Gallery. Feu'u has also collaborated with many people over the years, a key influence being the Auckland University Professor Roger Green, who specialised in Pacific archaeology. The reciprocal exchange of knowledge has greatly influenced the style and understanding Feu'u expresses in his works. He was named Honorary Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2001 New Years Honours List.

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