Visit Fafswagvogue.com. The interactive documentary taking you into the LGBTQ vogue dance scene in the world’s biggest Pacific city; Auckland, NZ. Choose striking characters and battles locations to the become a judge in a unique battle. The choose a winner to unlocking documentaries revealing the personal lives of five young Performers. Fafswagvogue.com
FAFSWAG is a visual arts incubator for queer indigenous creatives working collaboratively to activate public and digital space and disavow false representations of queer brown identities and bodies through creativity and self expression.
FAFSWAG operates across a multitude of inter disciplinary art forms and genres. We develop site specific cultural experiences and arts engagements that speak to our unique and diverse contexts as LGBT peeps from Oceania .
Artist Include: Jermaine Dean, Sione Monu, Pati Solomona Tyrell, Akashi Fisinaua, Moe Laga, Elyssia Wilson Heti, Manu Vaea, Tanu Gago,
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On Christmas eve 2017 FAFSWAG was invited to collaborate with Iconic New Zealand musicians Neil and Liam Finn on the visuals and movement for their upcoming feature length documentary as well as a music video component that featured new music written and performed by the father and son duo. Featuring the whole Finn fanau and … Continue reading FAFSWAG | NEIL & LIAM FINN
RFL is entering into a new agreement to provide support FAFSWAG Arts Collective for their project Fa’aafa. FAFSWAG Arts Collective is an LGBTQI+ Pasifika Arts Collective based in Auckland. Their purposes include privileging indigenous cultural practice through the arts and creative industries, advocating for visibility within Pacific communities as well as institutional spaces, decolonising art … Continue reading FA’AAFA 2018 | REI FOUNDATION LIMITED
Jermaine Dean. A contemporary digital media artist. Dean’s concept usually consist around the idea of his communities both the LGBTQI and the creative. As a multi disciplinary artist, Dean works with photography, video, music and a performance. Dean is apart of the artist collective FAFSWAG since 2013 and has been developing his practice of pixelation, distortion and manipulation throughout different mediums.
Akashi Fisiinaua is an interdisciplinary artist and a member of the arts collective FAFSWAG (winners of Best Body of Work at the Auckland Theatre Awards 2017). Also known for her work within the Auckland Vogue ballroom scene as the chanter MC Queen Kapussi fka (formerly known as) Boyinadress, she made her directorial and choreographic debut last year with the sold-out Basement show FEMSLICK. Her video series in collaboration with Jermaine Dean, B14CK 2H4K71, has been showcased at CoCA Christchurch and Blakdot Gallery Melbourne. With FAFSWAG, she collaborated with Auckland City Council for Make Space: The Visibility Project, an indigenous queer/trans live projection within the CBD for Pride 2017. Akashi’s work is an immersive digital and IRL exploration on the politics of space in relationship to her body. It’s about taking control, body sovereignty and self defense. She explores empowerment through vogue and martial arts practices in conversation with her Tongan culture, but still rooted within her context of being a first generation immigrant from Tonga flexing in western world.
Falencie is a Samoan dancer who practices in the style of vogue femme. An erotica performance artist who has recently showcased at CoCA – Centre of Contemporary Arts in Christchurch, The Basement Theatre for the FEMSLICK production and more frequently at Auckland’s adult entertainment
club Las Vegas. Falencie is one of the performers in this production. She is also part of the cast of the award winning and critically acclaimed stage production Fa’aafa recently presented at Bats Theatre in Wellington as part of the NZ Fringe Festival.
Tanu Gago is an interdisciplinary artist and award winning photographer of Samoan heritage. Born in Samoa and raised in Mangere. Gago works predominantly in new media with a portfolio of work that includes, staged portraiture, moving image and film. His practice is collaborative and examines cultural framing, decolonization, social politics, queer activism and gender and sexually diverse narratives.
Moe Laga-Fa’aofo is a Performance Artist from South Auckland, Whose practice includes movement and activation. Her works include a large number of stage and screen productions, as well as collaborative visual arts work that have been shown in Australia as well as the Pingyao International Photography Festival in China. Moe has a diploma from the Pacific institute of Performing Arts and recently completed her Bachelors in Creative Arts from the Manukau Institute of Technology.
Ilalio Loau has been a member of fafswag for past 4 years and is an aspiring fashion designer who is studying at Whitecliffe. Although his artistic practices has been for fun, his understanding in body type and fashion gives him a chance to help those around him gain confidence in there everyday life. His focus is to create a fashion brand for transgender women.
Sione Monu is an artist of Tongan descent who works across the mediums of photography, moving image, adornment, performance and drawing. Sione is a contributing member of the arts collective’s Fafswag and Witch Bitch. Recent exhibitions include Kahoa Kakala, Fresh Gallery Otara and Object space (2017), Statuesque Anarchy, Enjoy Gallery Wellington (2017), Pouliuli, Westspace Melbourne (2017) Making Space, CoCa, Christchurch (2017) and GG Talk That Talk, Fresh Gallery Ōtara, 2016.
Tim Swann is a business strategist with extensive experience in the areas of finance and risk management. While his ‘artistic practice’ is more hobby than career Tim is thoroughly invested in the complex conversations that occur daily when you live in the intersections. Tim is committed to economic domination based on merit and equality and advocacy that elevates rainbow Pacific people into positions of power.
Pati Solomona Tyrell
Pati Solomona Tyrell is an interdisciplinary visual artist with a strong focus on performance. Utilizing lens-based media he creates visual outcomes that are centered around ideas of urban Pacific queer identity. He has shown work at Fresh Gallery Otara, PAH Homestead, Museum of Contemporary Arts Australia and most recently at the Pingyao International Photography Festival. Tyrell is a co-founder of the arts collective FAFSWAG. He is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Creative Arts programme at the Manukau Institute of Technology, Otara. Pati is originally from Kirikiriroa, Waikato but is now based in Maungarei, Tāmaki Makaurau.
Manu Vaea is an interdisciplinary artist. His practice revolves around the exploration of Polynesian mysticism, and the mundanity/complexity of existing as a queer Tongan living in South Auckland through poetry and illustration. Manu has been involved in many collaborative projects, one being ‘Statuesque Anarchy’ in Enjoy Public Art Gallery alongside collective WITCH BITCH and poetry devised theatre shows ‘Loud and Queer’ directed by Sarah Jansen and ‘Mouth:Teeth:Tongue’ directed by Grace Taylor. Vaea is also an active member of arts collective FAFSWAG and has been since 2016.
Elyssia Wilson Heti
Elyssia Wilson-Heti is an interdisciplinary artist, activist and member of fafswag. She is of mixed Niuean and European heritage. She has spent the last few years of her practice producing and facilitating events with fafswag and the wider creative community. Her practice is collaborative and is intersectional at the core.
FAFSWAG presents FA’AAFA Directed by Pati Solomona Tyrell Featuring poetry by Tusiata Avia Performed by Falencie Filipo, Moe Laga, Joey Tinai & Pati Solomona Tyrell
As a lens based media artist Tyrell’s story telling is immersive and world building. At its centre is his body, his culture and his community. Described in the image note for the publication ‘BLACK MARKS ON THE WHITE PAGE’ edited by Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti, Fa’aafa is referred to as…
“A portal into another world, its colours saturated by night and desire and the youthful swagger of its subjects, whose eyes issue a challenge and invitation”
Devised in 2015 as a solo performance Fa’aafa has travelled across Aotearoa for the past two years as a cultural Acti-VA-tion; a term coined by iconic Pacific artist Rosana Raymond. The ‘VA’ refers to a Samoan philosophical understanding of space as ‘active’, not as empty and passive, but activated by people, relationships and reciprocal obligations.
This powerful interdisciplinary piece of storytelling continues to defy genre definition. Invoking dense cultural knowledge and translating Samoan epistemologies within a contemporary art language of movement and audio visuals for modern audiences. Dislocated from cultural space this works precarious form and other worldly aesthetic still make it difficult to categorise. Fa’aafa by its simplest definition is an ‘experience’. Fluid in language and physical phrase as it is in context and genre, Fa’aafa (A Samoan conception of half) is always in flux, existing in duality as a live performance and also a digital moving image artwork.
Recently featured as part of the Yirramboi First Nations Indigenous Arts Festival in Melbourne and MCA Art-bar at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney Australia, Fa’aafa was delivered in its last iteration as a solo performance in the ‘Tama Toa’ showcase as part of the 2017 Pacific Dance Festival in Auckland.
Tyrell’s reimagining of the work for Basement Theatre will see Fa’aafa expand on its cultural mythology and narrative universe. Featuring a new cast of emerging and established performers, and an entirely new soundscape and visual design, with poetry by award winning Samoan poet Tusiata Avia, Fa’aafa will adorn a new silhouette for a new audience.
WITCH BITCH came about through constant ‘talanoa’ between the artists Manu Vaea, Pati Solomona Tyrell and Sione Monu regarding Polynesian spirituality as a drive towards a cultural discovery of self. Their moving image and performance pieces speak to their reclamation of space within the Vā – the contextual and metaphysical space that exists between all things.
In March of 2017 FAFSWAG collective and cultural activation trio known as WITCH BITCH, Made up of visual and performance artist, Manu Vaea, Pati Solomona Tyrell and Sione Monu, presented new work at Enjoy Public Art Gallery in Wellington NZ. As part of the Wellington PRIDE Festival, the work was curated by FAFSWAG’s artist Tanu Gago and was funded by Creative New Zealand Pacific Arts Committee. Entitled Statuesque Anarchy the work is a synchronised 3 channel Video installation of the live activation of the same name.
The cultural activation Statuesque Anarchy was first featured as part of the cultural performance showcase curated by Rosanna Raymond for the International Pacific Arts Association Symposium in 2016. Titled ‘Feathers of the Sun’, the showcase was an evening of activation that featured various performance artist and activators. Sponsored by Tautai Pacific Arts Trust the evening feature new one of works by Tufala Meri, Grace Taylor, Rosanna Raymond and other artist.
Commissioned by FAFSWAG arts collective the new 3 channel video installation sort to reproduce the kinetic energy of the activation within a digital vocabulary that helped to present the artists collective ideas, creative and artistic response to Pacific spirituality. These concepts culminated over 2 years of personal research in precolonial cultural practices that originate from both Tonga and Western Samoa.
Sione Monu often uses Instagram (visit @sione93) as an art tool, constantly creating artworks that utilise the platform as a way of re-indigenising space as well as create accessibility for his community to engage with the works. His series of self portraits #BlanketCouture (2016) came to life due to a day of play but with only having access to the materials in his home. Although playful the use of blankets are on the artists’ body are striking and intimate is the artist challenges notions of representation and gender.
Manu Vaea is an interdisciplinary artist currently completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts at AUT TeWananga Aronui o Tamaki Makau Rau. His practice revolves around the exploration of Polynesian mysticism, and the mundanity/complexity of existing as a queer Tongan living in South Auckland through poetry and illustration. Manu has been involved in many collaborative projects, one being ‘Statuesque Anarchy’ in Enjoy Public Art Gallery alongside collective WITCH BITCH and poetry devised theatre shows ‘Loud and Queer’ directed by Sarah Jansen and ‘Mouth:Teeth:Tongue’ directed by Grace Taylor. Vaea is also an active member of arts collective FAFSWAG and has been since 2016.
Pati Solomona Tyrell is an interdisciplinary visual artist with a strong focus on performance. Utilizing lens-based media he creates visual outcomes that are centered around ideas of urban Pacific queer identity. He has shown work at Fresh Gallery Otara, PAH Homestead, Museum of Contemporary Arts Australia and most recently at the Pingyao International Photography Festival. Tyrell is a co-founder of the arts collective FAFSWAG. He is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Creative Arts programme at the Manukau Institute of Technology, Otara. Pati is originally from Kirikiriroa, Waikato but is now based in Maungarei, Tāmaki Makaurau