15, Creative Native of Tanu Gago & Tanu’s Artist Talk @ TMCL


Personal Note: Tanu Gago is as a Visual Artist, he is a Film Maker, Photographer who works with Moving Image and Photography. Gago works as a Creative Director mostly, he puts together commercial photography in a stylists – all images are from his local community. His work is based around Gender & Sexuality. How young pacific males into spaces in community. Pacific Island spaces, he looks at the relationships in that one space. He was inspired by Western Popular Culture, contributions to NZ Popular culture was his Pacific Identity and Presence. He did work in his sister’s garage as a teenager/young male. His friend’s house too, her family home, which was the first time he entered spaces. It reminded him of Samoa and how they decorate the vales. Themes were quite challenging for him, because some members of the community. It was important for him to represent these people correctly, especially his culture and in a matter or manner they were in agreement with him. I really liked this YouTube clip, he used this at his artist talk in Manurewa.


My Response to his ARTIST TALK: As I have said before, Gago is a Visual Artist who works with Moving Image and Photography, Tanu also had his talk at Te Matariki Clendon Library in Manurewa. My class took a half-hour drive up there. We all had a splendid time. Tanu talked about his work there. It was very packed, everyone asked many questions, which he answered very well in-depth that I really enjoyed listening to how his process of developing his art-work from the screen to the photography in wooden frame on a wall. The ones I found interesting was “YOU LOVE MY FRESH” [2010] he used still images to tell his story about South Auckland Pacific People, his view of his culture.

Team Poly, was about his Samoan Heritage, his cultural identity. In Popular culture, his versions, his base line of inspirations that was very complex. The differences between “Men and Women, whether it was diverse and changes to its’ Samoan culture, to capture that space between them.” This stops becoming cut, and becomes Photography in a presentation. The power towards Representation, as authentic as it is to him. This becomes the artist. It’s important to the Pacific. There are rights and there are wrongs. They dominate the culture, as to saying, “What is Pacific Art?”

On Fresh TV, he talked about how he dedicated himself to his culture. How culture is considered and how it reinforces the identity as a Samoan Fa’afafine Artist. Pacific Islanders are the most talked people when it comes to tattoos. It gives them the term, Pacific Islandness. The entire culture, its culture and fashion, to financial exchange to form a personal responsibility. He did a project of writing a film, photographic stories, a film in NZ, it was hard to get out there.

Gender & Sexuality, He got involved and joined the conversations.
He maintained this creative activity and managed the values and importance to find the balance within his work.


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