Raymond Sagapolutele is an Aotearoa-born Sāmoan artist with family ties to the villages of Fatuvalu in Savai'i and Saluafata in Upolu, Samoa. Sagapolutele picked up the camera in 2003 and began a self-taught photography journey that would see him work with editorial publications Back to Basics and Rip It Up as a staff photographer as well as submissions to the NZ Herald and Metro Magazine.
Sagapolutele, Aotearoa-born Sāmoan artist, has exhibited images in a range of group and solo exhibitions both locally and internationally. Sagapolutele honed his style of documentary street photography as one of several photographers in the locally formed and internationally connected graffiti creative collective known as TMD. Sagapolutele is a founding member of the ManaRewa art collective based at Nathan Homestead in Manurewa and alongside senior members helps to tutor and support the local arts community. Sagapolutele completed his Masters in Visual Arts passing with first-class honours and received the Deans Award for Excellence in Postgraduate study from AUT. Sagapolutele was also showcased in the 2019 Wallace Arts Award and a finalist in the 2019 Glaister Ennor Graduate Art Awards.
For Sagapolutele the camera has become a vital part of his ability to reconnect his art to his heritage as a diasporic Samoan with cultural ties that link him to the history of the Pacific and the lands within that vast ocean. The camera is how his visual language is given a voice, the method that forms his oratory and connects to the cherished and old Samoan tradition of Fagogo (storytelling).
Recent exhibitions include: Kunsthalle Faust, Hanover Germany: 21 October – Ocean Memories exhibition, group show ; TMD:An Aotearoa Graffiti Story, The Dowse (2021); Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt, Germany (2019); Pingyao International Photography Festival, China (2016) ; Primary Flight, Art Basel Miami: 27 November - TMD mural project