Tony Tia works in mixed medium, primarily with painting, photography and graphic design. In his work, Tony Tia explores the concepts of contemporary sub/urban life within Auckland and the wider South Pacific. His work is heavily based on his experiences as a gay man of mixed Samoan ancestry and the conflicts that can happen with modern life in Auckland.
Tony Tia is exploring and defining what he calls the “Urban Oceanic”, an idea inspired by the experiences of people living in urbanized areas of the South Pacific. These people regardless of ethnicity are one and the same; yet speak with many different voices. It is these voices that drive Tony’s creative practice.
For the exhibition No Fruits Without Labour Tony Tia has created work entitled “All I want is a theoretical astrophysicist who is handsome, funny and built like an NRL player” a series of 20 small illustrations based on phases said to him while navigating the “gay dating scene” of Auckland. Each illustration is a visual pun, a play on words or visual metaphor. The idea is to remove the viewer from the contexts of the words and to create odd visual narratives. Ultimately it is about the distraction of romantic failure and the futile search for the perfect man that doesn’t seem to exist.