Vea Mafile'o | Brandon Haru
"My work is based on the concept of koloa faka-Tonga/ Tongan treasures (commonly translated as ‘wealth’) made and collected by Tongan women over the course of a lifetime, gifted at important events and passed down as heirlooms. As a diaspora, I have adapted this customary artform to the materials and tools available to me creating digital Koloa."
"For this project, my approach was to keep the music simple and subtle, with an open space for the listener to hear the sounds of the island and the people. The rhythm of island life is different in a sense that time almost doesn’t exist, relaxing the body and calming the mind where one can find appreciation for their surroundings, and the attention span to see and listen are simplified to a point of awe."
Behind the scenes
Vea Mafile'oVea Mafile’o is a TV and Film Director/ Producer and Video Installation Artist. She is passionate about Pasifika storytelling and nurturing Tongan content creation. She has a BVA and PGDip in Moving Image installation from Auckland University and is of Tongan, Maori, English and Scottish descent.
“Mafile’o works innovatively with concepts of time, in a way that looks forward and backwards simultaneously so that the future is as open as the past and both can be rewritten in tandem.”
Ane Tonga 2018
Brandon HaruBrandon Haru is a multi-instrumentalist and award-winning producer for the likes of Ladi6, Valkyrie, @peace, Nga Neko, Niko Walters and Bic Runga. Brandon explores and experiments with new forms of musical expression, always looking to the essence of his cultural roots. Brandon's talent has been recognised globally with legendary US producer Timbaland, singing praises of the New Zealand producer on Twitch through the BeatClub Academy.
ConceptCreated from footage gathered during multiple journeys to my home island Lifuka of the Ha’apai Islands in The Kingdom of Tonga, 136 km from the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai Volcanic eruption on the 15th of January 2022 sending a tsunami across the wider Pacific and causing huge destruction in Tonga completely immersing islands and wiping out entire villages.
The result of this event has caused the concept of my work to pivot mid-flow. The Moana/ocean has been at the core of survival in Ha’apai, yet it is now an impending threat to their very existence. With global warming, sea levels rise and natural events occur frequently. An ominous tone of uncertainty exists now in this once idyllic haven.
“We should not be defined by the smallness of our islands but in the greatness of our oceans. We are the sea, we are the ocean. Oceania is us.” Prof. 'Epeli Hau'ofa, Pacific writer/ anthropologist (1939-2009)