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Samuel Tupou

Dunedin, New Zealand b. 1976
Meet the Artist

Samuel Tupou’s silkscreen printing and painting practice unpicks the disconnect between images and reality. Viewed up close, his artworks are abstracted into oversized pixels and patterns. Viewed from afar, larger images come into focus.

The strong presence of pattern in Samuel’s work is influenced by Pacific Island tapa cloth designs, informed by his Tongan and Polynesian heritage. His works merge cultural imagery from across the Pacific region to create vibrant new representations of identity.

Day at the Beach is based on a tourist brochure from the 1950s, originally created by Frank McNamara, promoting a seaside ideal with the promise of sunshine and sand. Samuel has distorted the original image by pixelating and overlaying it with a repeated pattern drawn from the architecture of the Story Bridge. The contrast of this inner-city industrial landmark with the idyllic tourist image beneath plays on the romanticisation of Brisbane as a city with aspirations of seaside leisure, despite the commute to the coast.

City in the Sun artwork credits

Day at the Beach 2021
Serigraph and acrylic on plywood (diptych)
Museum of Brisbane Collection

Samuel Tupou in his studio

Samuel Tupou in his studio. Photo: Charlie Hillhouse

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