Talofa lava! Introducing visual artist Christopher Ulutupu!
Samoan | Niuean | German
FB: Christopher Ulutupu
Christopher is an artist of Samoan (Siumu, Falelatai, Safotu), Niuean and German, descent currently based in Pōneke. He holds an MFA at Massey University and a Bachelor of Performance Design (Hons) from Massey University and Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. Ulutupu has developed solo projects at a number of galleries across Pōneke and Tāmaki Mākaurau. He also participated in the inaugural Hobart Biennale in 2017.
Christopher draws from and reflects upon personal relationships and experiences during his creative process. This theme is consistent across his bodies of work, the viewer can always identify a sense of identity and belonging in his chosen subject matter.
‘Beach‘ Filmed at Tahunanui Beach, Christopher’s sister recreated the popular Tiktok dance trend to ABBA’s ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’.
“This project is about Pacific diasporic identity, which cannot exclude the influence of Fanau. Their participation is integral to my process, and the quality of this new work – without their presence my ideas will become hypothetical; resulting in a very different work.”Christopher Ulutupu
‘Church Steps’ Christopher’s sister channels the 1980s as she lip syncs in a wedding dress on the steps of a church in the centre of town. Here we see where Christopher is employing themes and influences from film noir, the scene alludes to Gothicism through the subject matter yet is playful and irreverent.
‘Saltwater Pools’ The final video work from Christopher’s Fale-ship. He films his sisters Ashley and Fame relaxing and conversing at the tourist hotspot, the saltwater pools. Here we gain insight into his family life, memories and experiences.
Q+A talanoa with Christopher & Leafa
Leafa and Christopher sit down and talk about collaborating with whanau and the importance of sharing lived experiences.
Leafa: “How important is it to showcase the lived experiences of Moana artists?”
Christopher: “I think it’s super important… I guess under our current global climate, the marginalised need avenues to be able to voice those opinions and I think it’s important that initiatives like this help promote those voices.”