Angela Tiatia

Soft Power

Soft Power by Angela Tiatia

Artwork Detail

Born in Auckland and currently based in Sydney, Sāmoan and Australian artist Angela Tiatia’s practice explores contemporary culture, drawing attention to its relationship to representation, gender, neo-colonialism and the commodification of the body and place, often through the lenses of history and popular culture.

Soft Power is a cumulative portrait of the artist, created over seven consecutive days in Beijing, China. Exploring the historical ties between Sāmoa and China, this work alludes to the evolution of ‘soft power’ between the two nations in the last 170 years. Employing the conceit of repetition, we encounter the artist as she continuously moves between single and multiple frames. Building on a seam of previous video works in which she performs alone for the camera and in public space, here Tiatia collaborates with male performance artist Sun Hailiang on a sequence of simple, repetitive actions and gestures – finding moments of stillness, absurdity and connection. Whether throwing a partner’s body against a wall, or a discarded bicycle tyre into the air above a cornfield, Tiatia’s practice is tied to the rich history of durational performance works in which artists test the limits of their bodies within the structure of a given task.

Soft Power
Angela Tiatia
Production date
3 channel moving image installation 16:9, colour, sound
31min 31sec
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2023
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
On display

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