Sēmisi Fetokai Potauaine

MANUESINA (White Bird and White Angel), 2017

steel and polymer
14,000 x 1,560 mm (variable)

MANUESINA (White Bird and White Angel)

…”I noticed this bird trapped in your imagination, so set it free”…

Restoring Balance
Manuēsina metaphorically interrogates our understanding of our world. Manuēsina extends our collective glimpses into our surroundings, defining a deeper understanding of our common links.

Manuēsina reflects Tāmaki Makaurau, as one of the biggest capital cities of the Pacific and echoes aspects of its unique knowledge, thinking, and practice. The sculpture’s form reflects this very unique cultural understanding.

Manuēsia is an artwork of tufunga tongi poliukamea (polymer-steel cutting) and is based on the old Tongan kupesi manulua (two-birds-flying). The constant movement between abstraction and representation is a permanent motion between time and space, and also between form and content. As with all of Sēmisi’s work, Manuēsia is therefore, four dimensional.

Manuēsina resonates across cultures, seeking to bring new light to the plight of environmental, psychological and social conflicts that enslave us in our everyday lives. Knowledge is contained in culture, communicated in language, and enlightens our self-awareness.

– Sēmisi Fetoki Potauaine

Sēmisi Fetokai Potauaine

Born Tonga, lives and works in Auckland

Sēmisi Fetokai Potauaine grew up in a rich cultural environment and with lived experience of various traditional Tongan art forms. Now living in Auckland for more than half his life, Sēmisi sees relevance in both his past and present situations. He works as a multi-media artist across a number of disciplines, notably architecture and sculpture amongst others, and his exposure to rich ancient knowledges contributes to his work. His research concentrates on time and space, culture and language, theory and practice.

Sēmisi has a Master of Architecture from The University of Auckland. He is currently practicing as an Architecture, Art and Design Consultant. Sēmisi has authored and co-authored a number of books, book chapters, journal articles and has illustrated children’s books. He has completed public art commissions in Tonga including HinavakameaHina the iron boat and TunavakameaTuna the iron boat (2012) and Lei’ataua at the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, Cambridge University (2010).