3 July – 27 September 2019
Bridget Reweti (b. 1985, Aotearoa New Zealand) is an artist hailing from the Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāi Te Rangi groups in Tauranga Moana. Her artistic practice unfolds through lens-based works that engage with indigenous perspectives and posit landscape as a site of resistance against essentialist notions of ethnicities. She is a founding member of Kava Club, a collective of Māori and Pacific practitioners based in Wellington, and part of Mata Aho Collective, a group of four Māori women whose large scale fiber-based works have been featured in exhibitions such as Honolulu Biennial, Hawai’i, United States (2019), Signature Art Prize, Singapore Art Museum (2018), and documenta14, Kassel, Germany, (2017). She recently received solo shows at TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, Auckland (2019) and New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Wellington (2018).
During the residency, Bridget Reweti intends to continue her long-term research on Ra’iatea navigator Tupaia. A leading arioi (high priest), skilled star navigator, and diplomat conversant in Māori, Tupaia joined Lieutenant James Cook’s first voyage across the Pacific in 1769, on board of the research vessel HMS Endeavour, and aided the navigation to Aotearoa New Zealand. Tupaia died, whilst en route to Britain, in Batavia (today’s Jakarta) in 1770 and was laid to rest in an unmarked grave on Pulau Damar Besar, an island off the coast of Java. Though relegated to a minor role in the Endeavour’s log books, Tupaia is remembered differently by Pacific communities. Still today, oral histories shared by fishers and voyagers across the ocean frame him as a highly influential figure. By accessing archival records and oral histories, Reweti will attempt to shed light on the reasons why Pulau Damar Besar was chosen as Tupaia’s final resting place.
Residencies OPEN offers a rare insight into the often-introverted sphere of the artist studios. Through showcasing discussions, performances, installations, and works-in-progress, Residencies OPEN profiles the diversity of contemporary art practice from around the globe and the divergent ways artists conceive an artwork with the studio as a constant space for experimentation and research.
Featuring Artists-in-Residence: Irene Agrivina (Indonesia), Chang Wen-Hsuan (Taiwan), Bridget Reweti (Aotearoa New Zealand), Tan Kai Syng (Singapore/United Kingdom), Wei Leng Tay (Singapore), Zarina Muhammad (Singapore).
Image: Studio of Zarina Muhammad, Residencies OPEN, 29 June 2019. Courtesy NTU CCA Singapore.