‘Tatau: Samoan Tattoo, New Zealand Art, Global Culture’

This unique book follows on from a successful exhibition still touring internationally. One hundred memorable images by documentary photographer Mark Adams present a powerful and moving portrait of a great Polynesian art tradition.

Tatau also tells the story of Sulu’ape Paulo II, the pre-eminent figure of modern Samoan tattooing. Paulo was a brilliantly innovative and controversial man, who saw tatau as an art of international importance. He was killed in 1999.

Accompanying Adams’s arresting photographs are two essays, and two interviews in which Sulu’ape Paulo II and Mark Adams each articulate their understanding of their own practices.

About the contributors

Mark Adams’s photography has been exhibited internationally, and published in Land of Memories (with Harry Evison, 1993) and Cook’s Sites: Revisiting History (with Nicholas Thomas, 1999).

Sean Mallon is Senior Curator, Pacific Cultures at Te Papa. He is the author of a number of publications about Pacific art, including Pacific Art Niu Sila (Te Papa Press, 2002).

Nicholas Thomas’s influential books on art and cultural exchange in the Pacific include Entangled Objects (1991), Oceanic Art (1995), and Possessions (1999).

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