Visesio Siasau’s creative ambitions are directed towards sculpted wooden Tongan divinity forms, which he re-makes in a range of styles, stances, and materials including perspex, glass, stone, wood, and bronze. His twenty-first century approach to an old form presents a challenge for contemporary Tongan Christian politics because of his negative criticism of the church’s impact on Tongan stories, thinking, and traditional ways of life. Siasau’s sculptures carry a message beyond his politics—they hold and express his personal responsibility for teaching specialized knowledge.
Visesio Siasau, also known as Sio, has completed a Masters degree at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in New Zealand. He is a cultural practitioner from He Waka Hiringa, the first Masters of Applied Indigenous Knowledge degree program in the Pacific. Sio self-identifies as a tufungaʻi – practitioner and draws on Tongan epistemologies as his pathway to understanding things passed down by traditional knowledge keepers. Sio has represented both Aotearoa, New Zealand and Tonga in an international context, and is the first Tongan recipient to be awarded the prestigious James Wallace Art Award.
Events & Exhibitions
Residents from New Zealand
Astrid Svangren is a painter whose work revolves around movement, desire, sensuality and the body, time and rhythm. She often uses heterogeneous materials such as horsehair, wax, wool, shells, and silk to convey and explore sensuality. She integrates her life into her art and includes her art in her everyday reality.
Astrid Svangren (born 1972, Sweden) lives and works in Copenhagen. She graduated from Malmö Art Academy in 1998. She recently exhibited works at Kunsthalle Sao Paulo, 2016; Tranen, Copenhagen, 2016; Nässjö Art Gallery, Sweden, 2015; Christian Andersen, Copenhagen, 2015; Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Miami, 2013, Pioneer Voices, Gallery of Northern Norway, Harstad, 2013; National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, 2012; The Wanas Foundation, Knislinge, 2012; Artipelag, Stockholm, 2012; National Gallery of Denmark, 2012; Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, 2011; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2010; Moderna Museet, Malmö, 2009.
Residents from Sweden
Ilko Koestler is concerned with landscapes and their coding. He is particularly interested in energyscapes which results from the new politics of energy production. Through cross-country train travel, Koestler regularly observes the changing green pastures of Germany. On the road, he observes predefined trails and the resulting fixed visual fields. Koestler works with woodcuts, etchings, and lithography to reconstruct and recapture light, speed, and machinery.
Ilko Koestler (born 1978, Halle Saale, Germany) studied landscape architecture in Berlin. His thesis Stonescape explores our understanding of what landscape is and could be by looking at the exploitation of limestone in Franconian Jura in Bavaria. In 2016, he finished his post graduate studies in print graphics with Thomas Rug at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle.