Hulita Koloi: Malaloi

This installation is inspired by an oral story Hulita Koloi (Kolofo’ou mo Lotofoa, Ha’apai) heard growing up, which was passed down from her father. The title, Malaloi, was gifted by the Tu’i Tonga (King) to an ancestor of Koloi’s, whose duty it was to fota (massage) the king.
The King exclaimed,
“Malamalaloi! Tread lightly—it is I you are walking on.”

Malaloi was initially presented as a monumental sculpture comprising a scaffold-like structure and 139 concrete-dipped garments donated by Koloi’s family and the wider Pacific community. Concrete separates people from the land. At this smaller scale, presented in Te Uru’s window, Malaloi speaks directly to the urban environment and the effects of industrialisation and capitalism within Pacific communities. Whilst Malaloi can also be seen as a celebration of the collective and individual efforts of Pacific peoples representing themselves, ultimately, it speaks of the shared responsibility of humanity, past, present and future, to tread lightly.

Curated by Paulina Bentley

22 August - 16 November 2022

Photos 1-5 by Sapphire Crump

Photos 6-7 by Sam Hartnett


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