Semisi Fetokai Potauaine

Sēmisi Fetokai Potauaine works as a multi-media artist across a number of disciplines, notably architecture, sculpture, tattooing, painting, weaving and computer graphic design. Sēmisi was born, raised and trained in the old culture in Tonga and educated in Aotearoa New Zealand and abroad in art and architecture.

Ancient Tongan and Moana Oceania (Pacific) folklore provide the background story for VAKA ‘A HINA (‘Vessel of Hina). Hina is a Tongan goddess who lives on the moon above the langi (sky) in vāvā (outer space) and travels frequently back and forth to maama (Earth). VAKA ‘A HINA can be imagined as the vessel or receptacle she uses as transportation on these intergalactic trips – it’s her vaka (canoe) – thus evoking ideas of travel, motion and movement.

“VAKA ‘A HINA points to the intersection or connection and separation of tā (time) and vā (space), on the abstract level, and kohi (lines) and va (spaces), on the concrete level, in the production of kupesi (elaborate and complex geometric designs), which move in multidirectional and multidimensional ways.

“As a means of transportation, transformation or projection, VAKA ‘A HINA gives a sense of flight and escape into the realm of vāvā (outer space) away from the domain of vaha (seascape) on maama (Earth), where navigation as an art is conducted at their intersection or connection and separation.”


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