Created and Sold by Sēmisi Fetokai Potauaine

Sēmisi Fetokai Potauaine

Manuēsina (White Bird and White Angel)

Item details

The striking three-tonne sculpture named Manuēsina, meaning white bird, was created by Tongan artist Semisi Potauaine using an environmentally friendly, engineered polymer.
Manuēsina is based on a traditional Tongan design, and it stands like a bright white beacon wherever it is placed. Semisi designed the piece to draw attention to environmental issues, as well as psychological and social conflicts.
The sculpture is engineered to withstand Waiheke’s changeable weather conditions and strong winds and will be installed on a sturdy concrete base. According to the board, it will not require significant ongoing maintenance.

Context & Credits

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Sēmisi Fetokai Potauaine

Meet the Creator

Sēmisi Fetokai Potauaine is a Tongan sculptor, fine artist and qualified architect, now residing in Aotearoa, New Zealand. His work is largely informed by refined traditional Tongan artistic and literary concepts and practices and is highly sophisticated. He is an artist helping to define what indigenous art is in a global context.
Sēmisi Fetokai Potauaine grew up in a rich cultural environment, with lived experiences of various traditional Tongan art forms. Now, after living in New Zealand for more than half his life, Sēmisi sees relevance in both his past and present situations. He works as a multi-media artist across a number of disciplines, notably architecture and sculpture amongst others, and his exposure to rich ancient knowledges contributes to his work. His research concentrates on time and space, culture and language, theory and practice.
Sēmisi was selected to exhibit in New Zealand’s foremost outdoor sculpture exhibition, the biennial Sculpture on the Gulf with his artwork Manuēsina (White Bird and White Angel) on Waiheke Island in 2017. He has completed international public art commissions in Tonga including Hinavakamea, Hina the iron boat and Tunavakamea, Tuna the iron boat (2012) and Lei’ataua (2010) in the UK. He has also authored and co-authored a number of books, book chapters, journal articles and has illustrated children’s books.
Sēmisi interrogates his subject matter by constantly mediating conflicts in the creative process, transforming them from a condition of chaos to a state of order through sustained symmetry, geometry and harmony to create beauty.
In 2009 he was awarded a place in the coveted Commonwealth Connections International Arts Residencies programme in 2009, a prestigious award, which he undertook at The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) at the University of Cambridge in the UK during 2010.
Sēmisi has a Master of Architecture from The University of Auckland. He is currently practicing as an Architecture, Art and Design Consultant.

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