About Oceania Mix


The Exhibition going to be hold in Ponsonby Central (Shop C4) from June 4th to 10th 2018.

A collection of artwork which has evolved from Oceania culture, based on imagination and cultural integration. In this collection, I have tried to show how the Oceanic cultures have some strong similarities. I have also tried to show the possibilities if they were to be mixed together again and the results of intertwining with each other.

I am lucky enough to have grown up in an environment filled with cultural diversity. And being second generation Chinese-Malay, then having moved to New Zealand in my late twenties, this allowed me to experience different lifestyles. With all this, my experience tells me that ‘time’ and ‘environment’ do have the tendency to create a cultural shift. I have never been a person who is good with words, therefore, I put my thoughts into images and creativity. I found this is the easier way for me to express my thoughts. This is my way of communicating, my way of embracing differences, and paying respect to time and evolution.

We’re all different, from different backgrounds, different beliefs and most of us have different life experiences. This is what makes the world exciting, where new ideas & perspectives can develop. We are all different so that we bring change and push each other outside our comfort zones. But living in the world filled with differences come with challenge of acceptance and understanding.There will be times we will not be able to see eye to eye.This doesn’t mean that we have the right to reject, harm or discriminate. When we can’t make sense or understand, it doesn’t mean we can’t be understanding. After all there is only so much we are able to learn and experience in one lifetime. There are many things we don’t know and never will. Rejecting others will only stop us growing and finding peace.I hope one day we all learn the true meaning of respect. Treat people only the way we want to be treated. Knowing there will be times nobody is right or wrong, it’s just different points of view. As Confucius said; “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it”.

Mastering the art of communication is the key to live to harmony. People think communication is about speaking up and telling, but communication is not a one way street. It needs work in both directions. If we are to master the art of communication, we must first show respect through our willingness to listen.We can’t embrace or accept anything if we aren’t willing. Being willing to accept our ignorance will help us learn and see things from a different perspective.To creating this collection, first requires an understanding of the Oceanic culture, history and artifacts. This is currently a work in progress for me. With the knowledge that I have gained, together with my creative imagination, ideas are emerging. From Tiki creating woman, the love of an eel to Sina, Shark-man from the Solomon Islands, The mystery of Marquesas Island, The journey of the westward sail and so on … piece by piece, my collection of artwork is complete. I am not asking everyone to understand, but I do hope you look at them with an open mind.

Thank you

T.T.Onn 

Sharkman

SharkmanThe is a mix of Melanesia and Polynesia. When I first saw the Sharkman carving from the Solomon Islands, that was the very first inspiration for starting this collection, but it was only completed after I came across the Tiki from the Marquesas Islands thereby halfway developing the collection.

Caving

Caving – This piece comes from a story I read about Māui seeking immortality by crawling through the wound of the Goddess of Darkness. This piece takes on an element of Melanesia, from the Yuat River, Bumu River, Elema People, Lumi Area, Papua New Guinea and so on.

Whale Rider
SOLD Whale Rider – This idea started when I first saw the Huon Gulf’s food bowl, it reminded me of the New Zealand Whale Rider story, but instead of the girl riding the whale it was the other way around. Mixing with the Massim Area’s traditional figure and carving style, this piece is a mix of Melanesia and Polynesia.
Mix Match
Mix Match – This work has elements from five traditional figures from four different regions: Astrolabe Bay, the Yuat River, the Sawos People, New Ireland. It truly shows the possibilities of mixing cultures.
Withstand

Withstand – In many cultures warriors have been seen as the Protector for their tribe. From worship, fear and obedience through to like and dislike at the same time. As long as he remained powerful, he will have what he wants.

Coconut
Coconut – Sina and the Eel is a myth of origins in Samoan mythology, and there is an eel in the story of the first woman Tiki made. Eel seem to be a big part of the cultures in Polynesia. In my trip to Fiji, the mask captured my attention, I knew I wanted to include this cultural art form into my collection. You might say the masks are for warriors. In today’s society, who says a warrior can’t be a Woman?!
Reflection
Reflection – This is also a mix of Melanesia and Polynesia. With the smooth curving line figures found in New Zealand artifacts, it combines with Vanuatu’s male ancestral image used for initiation into the adult world. This piece represents the flow, connection and similarities, yet reflects the differences of the Oceania art.
Catching Bird
Catching Bird – An idea developed from the myth of the Cook Islands’ Fisherman God with the Haast Eagle (New Zealand Giant Eagle). Elements from the sea and sky, a very unlikely mix. Fisherman that catch birds instead of fish. If I imagine the Haast Eagle as the Giant-Bird-Woman in an impossible love story with the Fisherman God. This will be an uneasy journey, but what will you do when emotion is running strong inside you?!
Mask
Mask – Masks on shields designs are found in many Oceanic artifacts. This is a mix of the nabour In this piece. Upper Sepik’s war shield is a big part of the design, and the Washkuk Hills mask’s bold colours are the inspiration here.

Journey – In this piece my main challenge has been writing the hidden 500 words in the painting. They state the reasons and motivation I started this collection and personal journey. 
Thank you for support and helped me on my journey.