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Siapo Cinema’s Solid Ink

Siapo Cinema’s Solid Ink

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  • Thu 19 May ’16, 6:00pm – 8:00pm


Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki St, Te Aro, Wellington


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General admission: $10.25
  • Concession: $8.20

A screening of two documentaries on Tattoo traditions in Papua New Guinea and Samoa: "Tep Tok" and "Savage Symbols."

For many a Pacific Islander, a tattoo is a marker of one's identity – a reminder of one's heritage and a visual story to carry on their skin.

The art of tattooing has travelled the world over and while its popularity has continued strongly into contemporary culture today, the awareness of the traditional practices of tattooing in Papua New Guinea is dwindling.

- "Tep Tok" (Australia, 60 min, 2015, Exempt, filmmakers Nata Richards and Julia Mageau Gray)

"Tep Tok" aims to bring light to a vanishing ancient practice. The documentary follows four women of Papua New Guinea and Australian descent as they explore their tattooing traditions on a journey which takes them from Australia to Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti, Cook Islands and back.
Much like the legendary swim of the Samoan twins that brought the art of Tatau (Tattoo) from Fiji to Samoa, this life changing journey for the four filmmakers takes the viewer through Pasifika cultures with the hope to breathe life back into the dying art worn by their grandmothers.

The documentary particularly explores the changes in Papua New Guinea through the women's stories as mixed race girls adapting to and creating a culture outside of their Pacific nation.

- "Savage Symbols" (NZ, 2002, 55 min, Exempt, director Makerita Urale)

"Savage Symbols" explores the art of traditional Samoan tattooing - or pe'a. Based on interviews with nine men who have the tattoos, the documentary goes to Samoa to discover the history of tatau. They talk about the cultural significance of the tattooing, what it means to them, and about dealing with the pain of the long tattooing process, as well as the recovery afterwards. The documentary screened at the 2002 NZ International Film Festival.

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