Ngatu: a methodological framework for artistic practice


  • Cecelia Faumuina Auckland University of Technology



Belonging, Faiva, Ngatu, Oceanic, Practice-led research


This article discusses an indigenous methodological framework employed in the development of my doctoral study, ‘Asi – The Presence of the Unseen. Considering the Tongan concept of ‘asi (the unseen spirit that energises and gives agency to artistic work), the thesis asked, “What occurs when young Oceanic people work together creatively in a group, drawing on values from their cultural heritage to develop meaningful faiva (artistic performance)?” In posing this question, the study sought to understand how ‘asi might bring forward a powerful sense of belonging and co-creation that might resource artistic practice. As such, I proposed that the ‘asi identifiable at the peak of a performance, might be also be discernible before and after such an event. The methodological framework for the study drew its inspiration from approaches to making Tongan bark cloth fabric (ngatu). Given the co-creative nature of such work, the Ngatu framework positioned the investigator as both an artistic practitioner and a reflector on the practices and experiences of other people collaborating in the study.


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Biografia do Autor

Cecelia Faumuina, Auckland University of Technology

AUT PhD researcher Cecelia Faumuina works as a teacher for almost 10 years, when she had a sudden flash of insight into her power and responsibility with her students.
For Cecelia, one answer is to uplift young people by helping them find expression in the power of collective creativity. Her PhD research explores artistic expression from a Pacific perspective, and unearths ways in which young Oceanic people can find voice in belonging. Cecelia draws on the concept of ‘asi – the presence of the unseen in Oceanic people’s creative collaboration – to create space for young people’s voices as individuals and as part of a supportive group.


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Como Citar

FAUMUINA, C. Ngatu: a methodological framework for artistic practice . Revista GEMInIS, [S. l.], v. 13, n. 2, p. 17–28, 2022. DOI: 10.53450/2179-1465.RG.2022v13i2p17-28. Disponível em: Acesso em: 26 maio. 2024.



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