E pae mani Mani Rima, E Pae Tapa’o (Five Tapa’o for my Five Fingers) is a living visual parable composed around our visual legacy of making art/images through signs. The work uses embedded mnemonic devices (five fingers, five signes), to narrate five tracks for thinking the future in Polynesia: The Moon, our Nuclear histories, Transformation (the legend of Rua Ta’ata transforming his body into a breadfruit tree to salvage his famined family), Fai (Polynesian hand string games that are in themselves mnemonic recitation tools), and tapa making.

The in-situ wall work was installed at the Museum of Tahiti (MTI) in 2020, part of an exhibition that sought to present traditional artifacts from the MTI and contemporary artworks. For this presentation of E Pae Mani Mani Rima, E Pae Tapa’o (Five Tapa’o for my Five Fingers), I requested that the museum pieces be embedded in my installation and not be encased separately. Thus, the Fais are part of the MTI collection, and the botanical part of the ’uru leaf was created for the installation, and will integrate the MTI’s botanical herbarium, the largest of such collection in the South Pacific.

Using Format