Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka


Heliaki by Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka

Artwork Detail

For over 20 years, Maka has conducted research into ngatu tā‘uli (blackened tapa cloth) which is a rare tapa cloth reserved for the Tongan royal family. Maka refers to the black fields of ngatu tā‘uli as heliaki or metaphors, veiled in rich associations. Distinctive to his ngatu is the incorporation of faka‘ahu, a technique of smoking commonly used in the decoration of tao’vala faka’aho (smoked mats).

In this work, he uses heliaki explore connections across time, conceptualised by the circular motif that blazes across the surface like a comet. Its flight path connects two opposite sections of the work which feature the words ono‘aho (the past) and onoboone (contemporary). For Maka, this visual metaphor claims that ‘the past is now’.

Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka
Production date
smoke, red clay, dye on tapa
2110 x 3670 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the Patrons of the Auckland Art Gallery, 2021
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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