Sione Monū & Manu Vaeatangitau: Kindred: A Leitī Chronicle


exhibition Details

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is excited to announce Tongan artists Sione Monū and Manuha’apai Vaeatangitau as the third artists in South Atrium Window Commission, generously funded by Auckland Contemporary Arts Trust.

Visitors can enter Monū and Vaeatangitau’s radically imagined and ever-evolving futuristic reality centred on leitī (transgender women) as elite, glamazons called ‘ultimate leiti.’

Their new multi-sensory installation, Kindred: a Leiti Chronicle presents a pantheon of ultimate leitī. The series of painted portraits includes important leitī leaders such as activist and advocate Joey Mataele and Monū’s family members George Manumua. Each portrait is executed in the artist’s playful graphic style and made regal with Monū’s honorific beaded headdresses that links them back to the world of leitī.

An accompanying soundscape draws intertwines contemporary classical music and vogue chanting with a long-running dialogue that showcases Vaeatangitau’s power as spoken-word artist. Mixing imagery and sound, Kindred: A Leitī Chronicle crosses between the material and immaterial, creating a world that is fleeting, humorous, and yet hopeful.

Curated by
Ane Tonga
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki