Francis McWhannell Writer and exhibition-maker

Samoasonite

Jimmy Maʻiaʻi

In Samoasonite, early-career artist Jimmy Maʻiaʻi explores his Samoan/Palagi heritage and questions the term ‘Afakasi’ (‘half-caste’), often used to refer to a person of such heritage in a derogatory manner. The title of the show combines ‘Sāmoa’ with ‘Samsonite’, a luggage brand. Central to the presentation is a kind of mass-produced woven plastic bag that is sometimes pejoratively called the ‘Samoan suitcase’, due to its popularity among Samoan travellers.

Maʻiaʻi has cut the tartan-like fabric of the bags into strips, backing these with plastic versions of fine mats customarily made of natural fibre, and attaching them to timber frames to produce two monumental wall hangings, Samoasonite 2.0 and Samoasonite 2.1. The works echo the plastic thatching of a structure based on a traditional fale at Rosebank School in Avondale, suggesting experiences of cultural dislocation and transformation. …

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Continue reading on the Visions website.


Samoasonite
Jimmy Maʻiaʻi

8 December 2020 to 5 February 2021
Visions
Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

By Francis McWhannell
Francis McWhannell Writer and exhibition-maker

About

Francis McWhannell (b. 1985, Aotearoa New Zealand) is a writer and exhibition-maker based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. He is Curatorial Adviser for the dealer gallery Visions, and Curator of the Fletcher Trust Collection, a major private collection of Aotearoa art founded in 1962.