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Vai Niu Wai Niu Coconut Water

BY Caboolture Regional Art Gallery | 10-Nov-2015
Vai Niu Wai Niu Coconut Water is an exhibition that investigates diverse issues by Australian artists of Pacific Island heritage. This exhibition gives voice to Pacific cultural practices and raises issues of continuity of cultural practices for Moananui communities living in Australia, colonisation and the environment, and the body as a cultural site.
Venue: Caboolture Regional Art Gallery
Address: 4 Hasking Street, Caboolture
Date: 27 November 2015 - 24 February 2016
Time: Monday to Friday: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Ticket: FREE
Web: http://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/general.aspx?id=142235
EMail: Caboolture.Gallery@moretonbay.qld.gov.au
Call: (07) 5433 3710
Lissa Hilli, In a Bind 2015, photograph courtesy of the artist
Vai Niu Wai Niu Coconut Water is an exhibition that investigates diverse issues by Australian artists of Pacific Island heritage. This exhibition gives voice to Pacific cultural practices and raises issues of continuity of cultural practices for Moananui communities living in Australia, colonisation and the environment, and the body as a cultural site.

Selected artists include Torika Bolatagici, Eric Bridgeman, Stevie Fieldsend, Chantal Fraser, Taloi Havini, Lisa Hilli, Cecilia Kavara Verran, Kirsten Lyttle, Salote Tawale, Latai Taumoepeau, Angela Tiatia, Jasmine Togo-Brisby and James Tylor. Drawing on these culturally diverse artists and their concerns, the exhibition is anchored through Māori, Sāmoan and English languages.

The title, Vai Niu Wai Niu Coconut Water, refers to the long standing history of the coconut as a symbol of tropical Pacific islands. An adult coconut floating in the sea can land on a small sandbank, plant its fresh roots, raise the sand and create a small living environment for crabs, birds and insects. This adaptability is also seen in the use of coconut products. Coconut water, cream, copra, oil, frond baskets, hats and thatching are just a few examples of how coconuts are a staple in daily life across Southeast Asia and the Moananui a Kiwa in people’s cuisine, homes and lifestyles.

In Australia, packaged coconut water products can be seen to represent a desire for health and wellbeing. These popular products are available for purchase at hipster cafés and wholefoods supermarkets across the country. Coconut water originating from Thailand, the Philippines, Viti Fiji, Sāmoa and Malaysia is available in shiny cardboard and plastic bottles. Rather than truthfully endorsing these places, these products can promote a fictitious and more exotic ‘other place’ - a place not necessarily representative of the communities who live there.

Vai Niu Wai Niu Coconut Water gathers knowledge, languages and embodied practices to reflect on the ongoing realities of Moananui communities.

Vai Niu Wai Niu Coconut Water is an exhibition led by guest curator Léuli Eshraghi.

Opening: 11 for 11:30am Friday 27 November 2015. Special guest Maud Page, Deputy Director, Collection and Exhibitions, QAGOMA. Guest speaker/performer Grace Vanilau.

RSVP and enquiries 07 5433 3710 during gallery hours by Thursday 26 November 2015.