WinterSCAPE is a video/photo body of work which explores
cultural hybridity, tourism and diaspora through a series of staged
performances amongst picturesque settings in Aotearoa.
As a Samoan New Zealand artist, I draw upon themes of
representation of Pacific bodies, exoticised and repurposed for
western tourist consumption. Deconstructing and re-imagining
stereotypes and tropes of brown bodies, to better understand my own
diasporic worldview, asking myself if I have been given the
position of 'other' in western society, then what is exotic to
WinterSCAPE will be the (final) third part of a trilogy of
works, that make up my series called "The Romantic Picturesque:
Postcard Series" (links in bio below). WinterSCAPE will be
exhibited in this year's SCAPE Public Art 2018: Our Braided Future
(6 October-17 November 2018), in Ōtautahi/Christchurch in form of
seven billboards displayed in Hagley Park and a video work.
Samoa is often described as a paradise, a tropical place full of
rainforests and exotic fruits and palm trees. Nothing to me is more
exotic than a ski resort set amongst snowy mountains - I would
argue it's probably one of the only places I see as an absolute
opposite from what I know as 'natural' or familiar.
The work is in part inspired by an Elle Magazine article about a
Winter Vogue Issue 1977 photoshoot, where a group of photographers
and models travel to a ski resort at the border of Argentina and
Chile. Due to a storm they were snowed in and forced to stay there
for eight days . They continued the shoot at the ski lodge, which
goes on to become one of the most successful issues at the
That photoshoot became even more absurd when the Chilean
government refused to let the Americans leave. The US Embassy, in
collaboration with the Argentinean government, planned a Bond-esque
escape plan, involving all the models and photographers skiing down
the storm-ridden slopes to catch their helicopter, escaping the
clutches of the Chilean security guards left to monitor them -
whilst wearing all the furs and jewellery that had been supplied by
WinterSCAPE responds to themes of decadence within tourism, and
what I can only deem a story worthy of a cinematic experience.
Mixed with images of Samoans on a snowfield, I feel as this has the
potential to be a great starting point to create something
insightful and engaging - also hilarious.
Please help me shoot this work by supporting my campaign :) P.S.
the monies raised fund the core video shoot on location near
Christopher Ulutupu is a video artist of Samoan/Niuean/German
descent currently residing in Wellington. He recently completed his
MFA at Massey University, Wellington and has a Bachelor of
Performance Design (Hons) from Massey University and Toi Whakaari.
Ulutupu has a background in art direction and set design, creating
videos, performances and collages that challenge current
understanding of institutions, media, pop culture, racism,
terrorism and tourism, and how these spheres interrelate.
Here are some links to my previous works:
Part 1: Into The Arms Of
My Coloniser (2016) 16:22min
Part 2: Do You Still Need
Me? (2017) 21:20min