ORORANGI // PARTNERSHIP PROJECT BETWEEN TIFFANY SINGH, PRECINCT PROPERTIES AND ARTTFORM // HSBC COMMERCIAL BAY2021
A heritage which she has only recently strongly reconnected to as a result of the pull of her Samoan ancestry and the visions and dreams which have revealed themselves to her while working on this project which spreads out before us in its sacred and spiritual beauty. Tiffany’s dreaming of Ororangi and her incarnation has awoken deep connections that have burst into her consciousness. Tiffany’s great great grandfather was Seumanutafa Puaaefu, Paramount Chief of Apia Village in Samoa in the late 1800’s. Her Pacific ancestry and living links connect her not only to Samoa, but also to China, Fiji, and India and also of course Aotearoa.
One of the Samoan themes Tiffany has drawn from is the va – the sacred and secular spaces of relationships. Pacific author and academic Albert Wendt states that: Va is the space between the between-ness, not empty space, not space that separates, but space that relates, that holds separate entities and things together in the Unity-that-is-All, the space that is context, giving meaning to things (Wendt,1996). Ororangi makes beautiful the va’: balance, the 4 harmonies, symmetry, beauty—these are unapologetically “Pacific” aesthetic values strongly linked to wellbeing and good outcome. As a matter of preference, connections are made and conflict minimised out of concern for the relationship and a desire for harmony and symmetry within the engagement of all the elements.
For Tiffany, It has always been important for her to contextualize her work within the framework of the importance of the arts and culture, to heal, whilst bringing joy colour and positioning the importance of the inclusion of indigenous perspectives. The work is a huge, large scale form rendering the light rays through a colour spectrum. The work loosely maps the infinite possibilities relating to Pacific identity through the medium of visual storytelling, Specifically, the Va i Ta - the exploration of the ways in which the temporal and spatial nuances of the vā have shaped Pacific identity from its island origins to the Pacific Islander diaspora in Aotearoa/New Zealand – the huge V shape of Ororangi attests to this.
intersectionality in this installation is defined as a concept seeking to dismantle the power dynamics and cultural structures that discriminate against race, class, and gender to create advocacy and remedial practices towards an egalitarian society (Crenshaw, 1989).
In her framing of her artwork Tiffany explores the ways in which the temporal and spatial nuances of the vā have shaped Pacific identity from its island origins to the Pacific Islander diaspora in Aotearoa/New Zealand. It subtly explores Crenshaw’s (1989) notions by identifying where individual identities intersect (Coatson,2019) and how Va might bridge these intersections towards equity and an even playing field.
These themes influence a tactile, visual experience aimed at presenting interventions that might Teu le Va (to value, nurture and if necessary, to tidy up the sacred and secular spaces of relationships).Whilst aesthetics draw on cultural nuances and va of island life with materials mimicking the shimmering light of sunset dancing on the ocean, or references to fishing and sharing of resources with an emphasis on collectivity and reciprocity rather than individual accumulation. The intention of the work is to offer the simplest of tools: light and colour to generate a healing experience validating visitors from diverse backgrounds.
The rainbow of inclusivity and the acknowledgement of our Oceania peoples. The ebb and flow, trills of waves paired with compound perspectives, mirror aspects of the natural environment & play to our overall eudaemonia. It is a ray of light, a ray of hope and a burst of colour to attune to the psychology of nature. It also digs into the ways we can change the physical environment that we live in, building connectivity through its mass of singular threads operating as a single whole, which enables our lens to shift with each perspective. In 2016, author Valentine Seymour defined our relationship with nature in close association with Darwinian principles of Evolutionary psychology. The study explained concepts of evolutionary biology, social economics, psychology, and environmentalism and explored how the interplay of all these influence human health.
This measina (treasure), Ororangi, aims to bring wellbeing, inclusivity & cultural perspective into a commercial site connecting the sea to the sky and openly exhibiting how the nature of our environment has a vital contribution to the way we think, feel, and behave with others.
Finally, as we gaze upon you Ororangi we see Tiffany’s love, her spirit, her eyes, her hands, her heart and her dharma generating multiple viewing experiences through colour and form. We hear her calls on environmental references of Tāmaki Makaurau. As the natural light changes and dances throughout the day so too will the work live and adapt, a symbiotic touch point within its environment. We feel the colour. An unconscious experience yet one that has the power to affect our quality of life and wellbeing. Through her shifts through architecture and art she enables connections between the sea, the land and the sky above – Moana-nui-a-kiwa, Ranginui and Papatuānuku – the wheel of life - and us, te tangata, the people. The natural (sun)light, the architecture, the Fabric, Stainless steel wire rope and Thin weighted sinkers provides the psychology of colour and colour shapes which connect us to our living realities and it benefits our health and mind. In closing, while Tiffany is unable to be with us here physically her living presence is with us in Ororangi.
No reira tena koutou tena koutou,
tena koutou katoa.
Ua faafetai, ua faafetai
Ua malie mata e vaai.
Ua tasi lava oe, ua tasi lava oe
I lou nei faamoemoe.
Melani Anae - Author of the Platform, Polynesian Panther and Associalte Professor of Samoan Studies Auckland University