CIRCUIT Artist Moving Image Aotearoa New Zealand cinema commission 2022 project, curated by May Adadol Ingawanij.

Legacies is a collection of five new works for cinema by artists Edith Amituanai, Martin Sagadin, Ukrit Sa-nguanhai, Pati Tyrell, and Sriwhana Spong. Each artist responded to a series of propositions by May Adadol as CIRCUIT’s 2022 curator-at-large: 

“What does a legacy taste, smell, sound, feel, or look like? What do we do with the legacies that make us? How do they hold us back? How do we go forward with the full force of the past? What stories do I tell my son? That we all have a place in the world through the legacies we were born into that we haven’t chosen? Some of them we’ll learn to inhabit and to pass on, others we’ll learn to let go of. Legacies are things that we carry with our bodies, sometimes with pride and sometimes with shame, our emotional textures and our baggage, the basis of social bonding, an ancestral land, an enduring pain, a burden, some kind of ghost, an invitation into futurist kinship, stories for future making.”  

The five artists selected by May Adadol were chosen following a period of long-distance research in partnership with CIRCUIT. Several of the artists chosen maintain an inter-disciplinary practice based between the gallery, cinema and mixed media. 

The five cinematic responses to Legacies include:  

Edith Amituanai, Epifania (2022) 
A portrait of an inspiring young Pasifika matriarch raising her family; Epifania, the rose that grew from concrete. 

Martin Sagadin, Garden of Clay (2022) 
An affirmation of artistic process as a circular gesture, one that starts with gifting the earth. 

Sriwhana Spong, And the creeper keeps on reaching for the flame tree (2022) 
This film animates the insects found in the last painting by the artist’s grandfather, the Balinese painter I Gusti Made Rundu. The swarm imagines ancestry not as linear succession but as an accumulation of energy “charged with potentiality.” 

Ukrit Sa-nguanhai, Trip After (2022) 
A travel vlog mapping mobile cinema screenings in Northeast (Isan) Thailand during the 1960s. The films were presented by the United States Information Service as a form of propaganda.  

Pati Tyrell, Tulouna le Lagi (2022) 
A visual interpretation of alagaupu (proverbs) used within Samoan funeral chants and speeches, utilizing imagery from the artist’s personal photographic archive.  

The exhibition Legacies opened at Artspace Aotearoa in September 2022, after which it will tour to other New Zealand and international venues.

The Legacies Reader accompanies the commissioning project.