My work attempts to question the ‘sacred’ in Christianity, juxtaposed with popular culture and post modernism. What characterizes my work is the use of ready made objects that contain simple combinations of elements like pages of a worn out Samoan Bible previously owned by my Father and a ‘T.V. Guide’. The religious symbol of the ‘halo’ is a synthesis of both elements to shock and amuse the viewer. Both the bible and T.V Guide are valued objects taken out of its functional place in the world, recycled, recombined, so that, taken as a whole, are dark and oracular. I try to achieve a level of tension in my work by contrasting recognisable images to represent the pervasiveness of the mass media with an obsolete sacred text.
Biography: Dwain Aiolupotea born in 1977 grew up in Porirua; Wellington, New Zealand is of Samoan descent. Inspired by fa’asamoa (Samoan way of life) and Christian imagery, Aiolupotea’s work explores the Spiritual elements of Christianity and his cultural identity as a New Zealand born Samoan. Aiolupotea’s early figurative works in Paintings, Printmaking, and Drawing portray conflicts between the cultural customs of Samoan tradition emerging with Christianity. Questioning the Christianizing or baptizing of some of the art forms and customs into church life and worship. His works often include icons of Christian art mixing it with imagery of cultural motifs, traditional tattooing (tatau) and Biblical signs and symbolism. Most recently, much of his work aims to question sacred things or objects that relate to religious and cultural issues. As he continues to explore his faith and identity, much of his themes draw on his childhood memories, growing up in a Christian environment. Central to his work is the investigation of his own spiritual experience and development. The search for place, faith and identity are a unifying theme in his work and researched references.
Country: New Zealand
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