What's on: Papakura Art Gallery Mohe Ofi exhibition

Tongan-based artist Luisa Veakovi Fonua Nau's work features in the Papakura Art Gallery exhibition titled Mohe Ofi

Tongan-based artist Luisa Veakovi Fonua Nau's work features in the Papakura Art Gallery exhibition titled Mohe Ofi

Traditional Tongan art is being showcased with a modern twist. 

The Papakura Art Gallery is hosting the exhibition titled Mohe Ofi (translated 'sleeping near') featuring the works of Tongan-based artists Tanya Edwards and Luisa Veakovi Fonua Nau. 

The artists share the stories of a rich cultural heritage and upbringing. This unique collection explores the importance of family values in Tongan society through the traditional art of ngatu (tapa) for developing kupesi boards, stencils and forms of print making.

The title of the exhibition is a term of endearment in Tonga, often referring to the relationship between a mother and her child. In the broader sense it also refers to the responsibilities a mother has to teach Tongan culture to the next generation. 

When people in Tonga say you are "mohe ofi" it is a compliment as they usually mean you have been brought up well. 

Mohe ofi can also be understood as a measure of richness in a Tongan context. This is not automatically defined by wealth and power but can encompass a home, church, work and social setting. 

Both Edwards and Nau's work has been shaped and influenced by their mothers and the stories and lessons they have imparted to them. 

The exhibition is currently on show and runs until September 2 at 10 Averill Street, Papakura. 

 

 

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