Home AKL: Celebrating Pacific art
Home AKL for Paul Tangata is now the Grey Lynn bungalow his father bought in 1957 for £12 10s. It's here he's been living what he calls a "subterranean" existence, with few aware it houses Porima "Paul" Tangata, a one-time rising star in Cook Island politics who went down in flames only to emerge again as that country's senior public servant.
Even artist contemporaries don't realise Paul Tangata, the first Pacific Islander to graduate from Elam, had returned to live a stone's throw from them.
Tangata's story is one of the many surprises of the Auckland Art Gallery's first, and long overdue, survey of work being done in the world's largest Polynesian city. The conflict between "art for art's sake" and the expectations and responsibilities of community are still there for many of the younger artists in the show...