In Koe Tau’atāina o e Leitī | The Freedom/Emancipation of the Leitī , Manu Vaea explores the radical honesty of Leitī experiences. Fakaleitī relates to a third gender in Tonga. Working with photography, moving image and painting, Vaea foregrounds the desire for all forms of intimacy, from a Leitī perspective. The exhibition represents the culmination of Vaea’s three-month Aniva Arts Residency at Pātaka.
The Aniva Arts Residency is a partnership between Pātaka Art+Museum and Creative New Zealand.
About the artist: Manu Vaea (they/them/she) is Tongan and identifies as Leitī, the Tongan third gender. Their creative work responds to themes of cultural transformation, seeking to assert queer Pacific identities into social and cultural visibility. Manu has experience across a range of artforms, including illustration, poetry, performance and music, and they’re currently acting for the first time in the Neon/Prime TV show Not Even, written by Dana Leaming. Manu also received the Creative New Zealand and Massey University Arts and Creativity Award at the 2019 Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Awards.
OPENING NIGHT — Koe Tau’atāina o e Leitī | The Freedom/Emancipation of the Leitī 2023
Manu Vaea: the spiritual and mundane in being fakaleitī - Tongan third gender
Listen to the interview here.