Ruha Fifita's ngatu work was recently on show at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. Photo/Art Radar Journal

Tongan artist Ruha Fifita hopes that Tongan children will grow up in an environment that nurtures their potential.

Fifita, whose ngatu (painted tapa) work was recently on show at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, said in a recent interview that children were like seeds.

“The environment we create should nurture the growth of each seed and, as a result, ensure the world can benefit from the fruits latent within each,” Fifita said.

She said children should receive an education that developed every aspect of their humanity and their aspirations.

“This education, among other things, includes having the opportunity to be involved in meaningful, service-oriented community and family life, and being encouraged to reflect on and develop individual talents and qualities.

“The environment should be free of criticism and infused with love, encouragement and faith in the profound capacity of every individual.”

Fifita, who has exhibited her work in several galleries in New Zealand and Australia, often in collaboration with New Zealand artist Robin White,  said she hoped Tonga would become a place where its own culture and global knowledge.

“Perhaps we need to get better at consulting, generating new ideas in unity and then acting together, and reflecting on our actions,” the artist said.

“Perhaps if we were eager to learn from others we would discover that even the grandest ideals become possible.”

Fifita said the Pacific had a generation of young people curious about the world and thirsty to live lives of significance and contribute to causes greater than themselves.

“We’re a very young population, with a wealth of energy, new ideas and fresh perspectives of the world.” she said.

“If we can support the children and youth of our nation to realise the important role they can play in our society we will see these small island nations become lights of guidance to others, radiant examples of thriving communities living in harmony with each other and their natural environment.

“What a valuable service that would be to the world!”

The main points

  • Tongan artist Ruha Fifita hopes that Tongan children will grow up in an environment that nurtures their potential.
  • Fifita, whose ngatu (painted tapa) work has been on show at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, said in a recent interview that children were like seeds.
  • “The environment we create should nurture the growth of each seed and, as a result, ensure the world can benefit from the fruits latent within each,” Fifita said.
  • She said children should receive an education that developed every aspect of their humanity and their aspirations.

1 COMMENT

  1. ‘Oku ‘amanaki ʻa Ruha Fifita ʻe tupu hake ʻa e fānau Tongá ʻi ha ʻātakai ʻokú ne paotoloaki honau mālohingá.

    Naʻe pehē ʻe Fifita, ʻa ia ko ʻene ngatau ʻeni naʻe toki fakaʻaliʻali ʻi he Kāleli Fakafonua ʻa Vikatōliá ʻi Melipoane, ko e fānaú ʻoku hangē ha tengʻi ʻakaú.

    Ko e ʻātakai ʻoku tau ohí ʻoku totonu ke ne lehilehiʻi e tupu ʻa e kiʻi tengaʻiʻakau taki taha mo, ʻi haʻane ola, fakapapauʻi ʻe lava ke inumelie ʻa māmani mei hono fuá, ko e lau ia ʻa Fifitá.

    Ne ne pehē ko e fānaú ʻoku totonu ke nau ako pea fakalakalakaʻi kinautolu ʻi he ʻeu kotoa ʻenau anga fakaetangatá mo ʻenau fie maʻú.

    Ko e ako ko ʻení kau ai mo e ʻū meʻa kehe ʻoku kau ai ʻa e maʻu e faingamālie ke kau he ngaahi meʻa fakakomiunitī ʻoku ʻuhinga lelei, fakamahuʻingaʻi ʻa e mahuʻinga ke tokangaʻi kita mo e moʻuí ʻa e fāmilí, mo fakalotolahia ke nau fakakaukau ki hono fakalakalakaʻi ʻo e taki taha talēniti mo ʻenau matiketiká.

    ʻOku totonu ke ʻatā ʻa e ʻātakai ko ʻení mei he fakaangá kae fakafonuʻaki ʻa e ʻofá, fakalotolahí mo e tui ki he malava meʻa ʻa e toko taha taki taha.

    ʻOku faʻa ngāue fakataha ʻa Fifita, ʻa ia kuo ʻosi faʻa fakaʻaliʻali ʻene ngāué ʻi he ngaahi kāleli ʻi Nuʻu Sila mo ʻAositelēlia, mo e ʻātisi Nuʻu Sila ko ia ko Robin White, pea naʻá ne pehē ʻokú ne ʻamanaki ʻe hoko ʻa Tonga ko e feituʻu maʻa hono angafakafonuá mo e ʻilo fakakolopé.

    Mahalo ʻoku fiemaʻu ke tau toe sai ange ʻi he faifaleʻí , faʻu ha ngaahi fakakaukau foʻou mo ngāue fakataha, mo toe siofi loloto ʻetau ngaahi ngāue ʻoku faí, ko e lau ia ʻa e ʻātisí ni.

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