Please join us for the opening night event TYPEFACE: Live Tattoo Session featuring tattoo artist Andy Tauafiafi from Taupou Tatau Studio and tattoo volunteer Michelle Healey, with DJ Linda T. Wednesday 9 May, 5:30–7:30pm
Typeface continues an ongoing project by Vaimaila Urale that explores the dynamics of communication and social exchange. Beginning in 2012 from a collaboration with media artist Johann Norte, this expansive body of work brings together two distinct knowledge systems: traditional Polynesian design and the standardised symbols found on computer keyboards.
Working with four repeated characters (< greater than, > less than, / forward slash, \ back slash) that are used in ASCII—the American Standard Code for Information Interchange in electronic communications—Urale has developed paintings, murals, site-specific installations, tattoo designs and performances. Her approach hinges on active collaboration with other practitioners and volunteers, and a specific interest in mark-making practices.
For her site-specific installation for Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Urale has developed a tatau design that builds a dialogue between the architecture of the body and Enjoy’s gallery space. The design is presented as both a large-scale temporary mural and as permanent marks on the body across the sternum. These marks will be made during a live tattoo performance on opening night in collaboration with Wellington-based tattoo artist Andy Tauafiafi, accompanied by DJing from Urale’s long-time collaborator Linda T. of D.A.N.C.E Art Club.
Image: Vaimaila Urale, TYPEFACE – Live Tattoo Session & Public Mural, 2016. Image courtesy of Janneth Gil and Toi Moroki Centre of Contemporary Art