Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Through Art
"Brimming with art from four Pacific Islander and Asian artists, the McKay Auditorium held the kick-off of Asian American and Pacific Islander Month on campus with an ongoing exhibition. Michael Ligaliga, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts, said, “It's time to reflect on the migration stories [of the first Asian American and Pacific Islanders] and celebrate their courageous efforts to leave the confidence of their native homes to navigate in unknown political, social, environmental and cultural identities, [starting with] the first documented Asian Americans who arrived in America in 1597.”
The exhibition was organized by Line-Noue Kruse, a Pacific studies associate editor and coordinator in the Faculty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts, and curated with the help of Jacob Jackson, an associate professor in the Faculty of Arts & Letters.
Ligaliga invited everyone present to have a talanoa with the different artists present, explaining, “Show love and speak with them about the work they have done. Get to know the artist and understand their creation process,” said Ligaliga.
Community member Malositoa Teo Tafiti exhibited two of his recent toere or pake drums, which are slit log drums he made using milo wood or Pacific rosewood wood. He said, “I have been drumming at PCC since I was younger. So I just figured it all myself, because I know what it's supposed to sound like [and how it] looks like, so I just did it and [and repeated the process].”
Elijah Lemusuifeauali’i, a BYU–Hawaii alumnus and cultural specialist, displayed a Samoan siapo or tapa cloth made in two weeks with “a lot of late nights for [an approximate] 100 hours,” he said. He also showcased five of his eight Fijian clubs, which took “a year a and half altogether” to make.
'Ulise Funaki, an adjunct lecturer in history, snthropology and Pacific island dtudies, presented his fangufangu, or nose flutes, with one of them carved with the legend of Maui." Credit: Ke Alaka'i
Artists: Ya-Yun Lin, BYUH student
Rebekah Poh, BYUH student
'Ulise Funaki, BYUH adjunct professor
Elijah Lemusuifeauali'i, BYUH alum
Malositoa Teo Tafiti, community member
Julius Tafiti, community member