Exhibition Essays

Salt and offering

November 2022

Ocean of Whispers — Offering

Dylan Fa'atui

An ocean of memories
fed by rivers of gentle reminders
these light prompts meander their way
to the forefront of recollections
and I am greeted by my childhood

The same childhood
where my attention was snatched
by conversations on a kitchen table
A mug of koko in one hand
and a masi popo in the other

 Where gatherings in backyards
had everyone seated on plastic chairs
and there were always just enough seats
Seats which held the bodies of loved ones
and their memories and stories

 Where the meticulous and dexterous hands
etched markings of stories
onto skin, masi or siapo
Telling stories without words,
our oral traditions in physical form

 And so, if memories are colourful
and the loss of them is grey
To remember is to swim
in an ocean full of memories
surrounded by islands of stories

 Oceans hold our memories and whispers
where waters connect and separate
We realise that although everlasting
it’s easy to become submerged
in the fragile nature of memory

 Memories, knowledge and stories
from a past slowly losing water
all hold a weight that one can only carry
with the help of the village
that raises the child 

A memory is a drop
and a collective of them an ocean
A reminder of who we are
in this moment, the next,
and every moment past


Kasi Valu, Lop@, 2022, digital video 4:53 (stills)

Kasi Valu, Lop@, 2022, digital video 4:53 (stills)

Dylan Fa'atui

By trade, Dylan is an actor and youth facilitator and he wouldn't call himself a poet or a writer. He instead refers to himself as an offeror of words.

He writes in the hopes that his completed offerings find home where they're needed.

He enjoys the different interpretations people have of what he writes and how they resonate with others.

A lot of his offerings so far have been an exploration of his journey into his connection to Sāmoa.