Pasifika Transmissions

A series of photographs, poetry, and a short poetry film produced in conversation with the Masi, who currently rests at the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM).

Through this mini-residency I had the opportunity to spend a month in conversation with the ancestral artifact I was paired with: the Masi.

From these conversations I created a body of work that included a series of photographs, poetry, and a short poetry film. These works were shared during a live 30-minute presentation on the Pasifika Transmissions Facebook page.

Pasifika Transmissions

Pasifika Transmissions is a distance learning program that invites indigenous artists in California to visit the archive of the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum and develop a video “transmission” geared towards children and families. This museum is the only institution of its kind in the contiguous United States soley dedicated to Pacific Island descendants. Pasifika Transmissions is hosted by Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum and funded through the generous support by the RuMBA Foundation of Long Beach.

Melodie was paired with the Masi, a traditional cloth from Fiji, made from the inner bark of the Mulberry Tree. Melodie’s Transmission comes from a pairing inspired by a recent response to the alarming rise in racially charged violence, “In this Pasifika Transmission I reflect on what it means to remember, to move beyond, and to live more presently.”

The Exhibit

It wasn’t an official “exhibit,” but the ancestor pieces who were part of Pasifika Transmissions, and the works inspired by relationship with those ancestors, held the space in PIEAM as the world began to re-open during the COVID pandemic.

For this, I created a “fabric paper” collage to embody the Masi’s poem. Made from different types of paper, muslin, and acrylic paint.