WAIKATO’S HOME OF FINE ART
New Zealand. b.1946.
Fatu Feu’u is a senior artist acknowledged as both a leader and mentor within the Pacific arts community in New Zealand. Feu’u grew up in the village of Poutasi in Western Samoa and immigrated to New Zealand in 1966 at the age of 20. He has been an exhibiting artist since the early 1980s and became a full-time artist in 1988.
Fatu is a multi-media artist and while primarily a painter, he explores a range of other mediums including bronze, wood and stone sculpture, pottery design, lithographs, woodcuts and glass works (both stained and etched). Fatu gains inspiration from Polynesian art forms such as siapo (bark cloth), tatau (tattooing), weaving, carving and ceremonial mask making.ﾠ In these forms he has discovered a rich lexicon of motifs and compositional structures. Fatu's works frequently blend traditional and contemporary elements, incorporating a range of influences, inspirations, techniques and motifs from Samoa and Aotearoa and more generally from Euro-American to Pacific cultures.
The term fa'asamoa can be generally defined as “the Samoan way". Fa'asamoa has become the unifying element of Fatu's work. The social structure of Samoan society is held together and actively maintained by an adherence to unwritten but understood cultural conventions embodied in fa'a Samoa which binds family networks to traditional customs and ceremonies. Fatu explains, "In my culture, values are expressed in various forms, religious and traditional.ﾠ Fa'asamoa values are manifested in the conventions of ava (respect), fa' aloalo (reverence) and alof'a (love compassion and concern).ﾠ They form the basis of the spiritual and cultural identity of the Samoan people."
Fatu's work is included in a number of prestigious national and international collections including the National Gallery, Brisbane; Auckland City Art Gallery; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington and Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton. His work is also included in an extensive number of private collections in New Zealand, Australia, United States of America, England, Holland, American Samoa, Western Samoa and Japan. Fatu has exhibited in major group exhibitions including Le Folauga (2007), Auckland Museum and Samoa Contemporary (2008), Pataka, Porirua.
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