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
Karen Kraven’s work sets up unexpected encounters and juxtapositions between sculptures and images. She explores common themes that appear in sports, card games and hunting. Kraven is particularly interested in motifs of illusion and attraction.
Karen Kraven holds an MFA from Concordia University, Montreal. Recent solo exhibitions include 37 Fouettés, 8-11, Toronto; Flip Flop, Front Punch at Mercer Union, Toronto; Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah, Darling Foundry, Montreal; A Mucker and a Grinder, Parisian Laundry, Montreal; and As Above, So Below, Centre CLARK, Montreal. Her work has also been shown at La Friche de la Belle de Mai, Marseille; Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal; and Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto. Kraven has participated in artist residencies at The Banff Centre, Canada, and Largo das Artes, Rio de Janeiro.
Residents from Canada
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.